News: FARP keeps TF Aviation fueled and functioning
Story by Sgt. Samantha Parks
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – UH-60 Black Hawks can be heard on a daily basis, taking off from the Camp Bondsteel flight line, with the help of the Task Force Aviation fuel team. Nine soldiers maintain and operate the forward arming and refueling point, supplying all of Camp Bondsteel helicopters with the fuel necessary to complete their missions.
A FARP is a temporary facility organized, equipped and deployed by an aviation commander and normally located close to where the units operations are being conducted.
"Our mission here in Kosovo is to provide hot [refuel] at the FARP," said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Earl Scoggins, Maryland National Guard noncommissioned officer in charge and a native of Myersville, Md. "We provide all the hot fuel operations as well as the lab."
Hot refuel is when the rotor blades of an aircraft continue turning and the engine is not cut off, explained U.S. Army Sgt. William Bundy, a petroleum supply specialist from the Maryland National Guard and a native of Hertford, N.C. It is different from a cold refuel where the engine is cut off and cooled down.
"It's a high risk job, [refueling] with the rotors turning because of the amount of static electricity that the rotors put off," Bundy said. "It's a strenuous job, you have to make sure you take your time and everybody stays safe."
Scoggins said he has two teams that man the FARP 15-hours a day and go on standby for the remainder of the night in case of medical evacuations or other situations.
"Our guys are called back in and we can generally be ready to fuel within 30 minutes," Scoggins said.
The FARP also has the capability to do a jump FARP.
"A jump FARP is a portable system that we can load up between a tanker and another vehicle and take it to wherever our location is and set up a fueling system," Scoggins said. "We use the heavy expanded mobility tactical truck aviation refueling system here in Kosovo. We can run the lines right off the tanker and fuel the birds at any location."
Scoggins said the FARP is vital to the success of the aviation mission.
"It is very important because it allows the commanders and pilots to come in, be refueled, and get right back out into the mission with limited downtime," Scoggins said.
U.S. Army Spc. Dawson Stevens, a petroleum supply specialist with the Maryland National Guard and a native of Chestertown, Md., said day-by-day they do what they need to do to maintain mission readiness.
To maintain that readiness, the FARP is also tasked with testing all the fuel that comes onto Camp Bondsteel.
"The job is very important because if the fuel is bad, the pilots' lives are on the line," Stevens said. "Also anything that goes wrong in the air could affect a lot of people."
Scoggins said his team is working well together and successfully accomplishing their mission.
"They are doing a great job, I couldn't be more proud of them," Scoggins said.
Date Posted:09.09.2013 03:40
Location:CAMP BONDSTEEL, ZZ
Hometown:CHESTERTOWN, MD, US
Hometown:FORT BRAGG, NC, US
Hometown:HERTFORD, NC, US
Hometown:MYERSVILLE, MD, US