News: Joint Service FARP Rodeo
Story by Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii – The 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, hosted a joint service Forward Arming and Refueling Point Rodeo competition on Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, Nov. 20.
Soldiers from the CAB, 3rd Brigade Combat Team and Marines from Marine Wing Support Detachment 24 participated in the three-day event.
“The competition is designed to increase the proficiency of our soldiers on the ways to set up a FARP,” said Nunez. “By inviting 3rd Brigade and the Marines to the event, we can increase our proficiency between branches and throughout the division and become a better military force. The event focuses on attention to detail while working quickly under stress.”
The Marines and soldiers received instructions and hands-on training on the four Army FARP systems to refuel aircraft and ground equipment. Each group trained on all of the systems for the first two days of training.
“The [forward area refueling system] is similar to our HERS, helicopter expedient refueling system,” stated Marine Cpl. John Fazio, bulk fuel specialist, MWSD 24, originally from Augusta, Ga. “It is great that we were able to do a dry run on the setups before using it.”
Other systems used in for the competition were the Heavy Expendable Mobility Tactical Truck Tanker Refueling System, micro-FARE system, and the Extended Range Fuel System.
“This was good hands-on training for my soldiers,” said Sgt. Shawnna Saulsberry, petroleum fuel specialist, Company A, 325 BSB, 3rd BCT, 25th Inf. Div. “Not only did my soldiers get vital training on systems they have not used, they were able to work with other branches of the military.”
Instructors were positioned at each station to provide the participants with the best knowledge possible. The instructors answered questions and aided the teams during the first two days.
On the third day, as the sun started shinning over the horizon, the FARP Rodeo competition kicked off with an Army Physical Fitness Test.
Following the APFT, the teams rotated between four stations where they were given 30 minutes to setup and tear down each FARP.
“It was exciting and fun to compete against other branches,” said Fazio. “Being able to do something different like this makes us more proficient and better rounded.”
The competition was close as the time separating 1st place and 5th place was less than ten seconds in each event. A/209th ASB won the rodeo with a time of 14:41.
A future FARP Rodeo is planned that will be hosted by Marines at Marine Corps Base Hawaii next summer with participants from the Air Force, Navy, 25th Inf. Div. and 25th CAB.