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Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC)

Remote Fueling: Increasing Time on Target

by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist RJ Stratchko, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group Public Affairs
16 December 2021 With frost on the ground, Sailors and Marines can see their breath creating cold clouds of condensation as they move around exiting their camouflaged tents on the edge of a remote airfield on Wallops Island, Virginia. In the distance, the sound of radio chatter and propeller wash excite the air. It’s time to move some fuel!
The blue-green teams of the Navy and Marine Corps expeditionary forces from Navy Cargo Handling Battalion (NCHB) ONE, expeditionary fuels team and Marine Wing Support Squadron 271, Aviation Mobility Company, FARP platoon, integrated and train in coordination with a joint Navy-Marine Corps forward arming and refueling point (FARP) as part of U.S. Fleet Forces Command Fleet Battle Problem (FBP) 21-3.
With the sound of the helicopter getting closer a Marine raised the signal flag disclosing the location of the FARP to the MH-60R Sea Hawk, from the “Proud Warriors” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72. The aircraft director guided the helicopter into place and the team approached the aircraft to refuel. 
A FARP operates with minimum personnel and a small amount of equipment. They are designed to provide fuel and ordnance to aircraft in remote locations to reduce the time between turns for aircraft while conducting missions. The FARP has proven to save time and increase the time-on-target for each aircraft sortie.
In the scenario, the FARPs location was compromised and the team had to extract and change locations to another airport.
A FARP can be set up and moved in hours depending on the size and number of aircraft they were set up to service.
“This is another great opportunity for NECC [Navy Expeditionary Combat Command] forces to fully integrate with the Marine Corps and expand our warfighting capability,” said Master Sgt. Robert Gallup, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group Plans and Operations Chief.
Exercises like this demonstrate the interoperability of our forces, as well as the ability our units have to integrate with other services, reinforcing a culture of learning and increasing our warfighting readiness.
“As we operate in these joint events I am gaining a lot experience –– we demonstrate the integration of force capabilities with the Marines and it has provided us with a lot of hands-on training and lessons on equipment and operations,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) 1st Class Carlo Silva, Navy Cargo Handling Battalion Fuels Leading Petty Officer.
FBP 21-3 refined how the Navy synchronizes maritime operations across multiple anti-submarine warfare (ASW) platforms in support of maritime homeland defense. ASW training opportunities improve multi-domain cooperation, maintain superior lethality in defense of the homeland, and ensure continued freedom of navigation throughout the Atlantic. The U.S. Navy’s ability to conduct integrated operations around the globe across the full-spectrum of military operations is a core requirement for maintaining maritime superiority during this era of strategic competition.
Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG) provides dynamic logistics support to the joint force across the spectrum of conflict from peacetime support to major combat operations. NAVELSG rearms, refuels, and resupplies the fleet when and where needed to reinforce maritime lethality and support the Navy Expeditionary Combat Force efforts to CLEAR, SECURE, BUILD, and PROTECT in the littorals.
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