FARP Exercise demonstrates 2CAB Readiness and Operational Reach
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Soldiers with the U.S. Army E Forward Support Company, 4-2 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade conducted Forward Arming and Refueling Point training in support of over-water, joint and multinational training at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea on Aug. 7, 2017 demonstrating the readiness, integration, and capabilities of the forces on the Korean Peninsula.
The Soldiers who participated in the training honed their ability to operate in tandem with other nations and services, arming and providing fuel for the AH-64 Apache Longbow helicopters allowing them to conduct day and night iterations of over-water, live-fire operations in conjunction with the Republic of Korea Navy sea craft, U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and a U.S. Air Force E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft.
The training served to test the logistical capacity of the 4-2 ARB supporting a dispersible mission set unique to the Korean Peninsula.
The logistical flexibility allows the attack battalion to operate not only across the theater, but as part of a full-range integration of forces designed to interdiction and attack enemy forces whether in air, land, or sea.
According to Maj. Laura Fryar, the battalion operations officer, “Being able to forward arm and refuel extends our operational reach beyond what is possible out of Camp Humphreys.”
Conducting the FARP at Kunsan ensured the 4-2 ARB Soldiers could conduct hot reload and refueling of the Apaches, and provide the reach to areas which would otherwise be inaccessible to the 2CAB.
An additional benefit to training at Kunsan for the distribution platoon Soldiers is the capacity of the airfield, which allows them to scale up their refuel and reload operations to a six-point FARP, rather than the two- or four- point stations they most commonly operate.
“Once this training is complete, we’ll know that our capabilities will have increased by being able to get six birds armed and refueled versus four at a time,” said 2nd Lt. Derek Wang, the distribution platoon leader. “If you can get two more birds in the air that’s a lot more firepower.”
The Apache carries a lethal array of armament. Its combat load includes Hellfire missiles and aerial rockets as well as an M230 Chain Gun automatic canon. Two more Aircraft means a much greater capability to defend the peninsula and bring firepower to bear during wartime operations.
Typically the Apache mission is to conduct air-to-ground attack against enemy targets, however due to unique requirements on the Korea Peninsula, the 4-2 “Death Dealer” pilots also train a unique over-water mission to eliminate potentially hostile sea craft.