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    404th ASB conducts readiness training at Hohenfels

    404th ASB conducts readiness training at Hohenfels

    Photo By Sgt. Gregory Summers | Petroleum supply specialists of the 404th Aviation Support Battalion, 4th Combat...... read more read more

    HOHENFELS, GERMANY

    07.13.2018

    Story by Sgt. Gregory Summers 

    22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   

    HOHENFELS, Germany – After recently arriving in Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve, Soldiers of the 404th Aviation Support Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, wasted no time getting to work and increasing their overall readiness.

    Petroleum supply specialists and other Soldiers of 404th ASB, operating out of Storck Barracks in Illesheim, Germany, convoyed about three-hours to the Hohenfels Training Area to conduct a readiness exercise, July 9-13.

    “This exercise demonstrates the ASB’s ability to maneuver and simultaneously operate forward arming and refueling points (FARP) to extend the operational reach of 4th CAB’s aircraft,” said Capt. Zachary Roitz, commander of Company A, 404th ASB.

    After receiving their trucks and containers from Fort Carson, Colorado over the last several weeks, the battalion began testing their equipment and conducted rehearsals for the exercise.

    “In about a week’s time, once we received all of our equipment, we prepared to mobilize it very quickly,” said 1st Lt. Darrell Ray, an ordinance officer and the executive officer for Company A, 404th ASB. “We then moved about 50 Soldiers in a 19 vehicle convoy and arrived at Hohenfels with no accidents or incidents.”

    Those 50 Soldiers were tasked to setup, secure and operate two FARPs to support sister battalions of the brigade and their aircraft.

    “We’ve setup two, four-point FARPs here at Hohenfels,” Ray added. “One is more of a traditional FARP with paved helicopter pads and straight fuel lines while the other is a jump FARP, configured a little differently in a field environment that allows rapid setup or tear down to continue to push throughout the battlefield.”

    Each location had two refueling pads that were capable of supporting CH-47 Chinook helicopters.

    “We are testing two, different FARP concepts that each have the ability to provide fuel support for any airframe that 4th CAB has,” Roitz said.

    As part of the training, 404th ASB Soldiers refueled CH-47 Chinook helicopters for flight crews of the 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, 4th CAB, as they conducted various air assault and flight operations in the area.

    “Our Soldiers did a great job refueling the Chinooks,” Ray said with a smile. “They were fast and proficient and everyone was able to learn something from this experience.”

    That something included NCO-led blocks of instruction on driver’s training, setting up radios and securing communications and proper entry control point and security operations.

    Sgt. Kentearian Earl, a petroleum supply specialist and the noncommissioned officer (NCO) in charge of the main FARP for Company A, 404th ASB, said he and other more experienced Soldiers have been able to teach their new, junior Soldiers a lot during the exercise.

    “The biggest learning lesson for my Soldiers was safety,” Earl said. “When we refuel our aircraft, we always review and rehearse the procedures like how to approach and what to do when they are near the aircraft so we can ensure no one gets hurt.”

    “We have to do our job as fast as possible, but we also have to do it safely,” Earl said.

    The exercise proved to be valuable for the 404th ASB and its Soldiers as it showed their capabilities and enhanced their unit’s mission readiness.

    “This exercise has shown a lot about our unit, including our capabilities in just a short amount of time and how prepared we were deploying from Fort Carson,” Ray said. “The execution of our Soldiers and NCOs in that short amount of time was very impressive.”

    The newer Soldiers of the unit also got a chance to gain valuable hands-on experience.

    “My newer Soldiers were able to learn more and feel their way around and get all of their jitters out during this exercise,” Earl added. “They now know what to expect and whatever the next mission we have is, they will be ready to tackle it.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 07.13.2018
    Date Posted: 07.13.2018 13:27
    Story ID: 284140
    Location: HOHENFELS, DE 
    Hometown: HOHENFELS, BY, DE
    Hometown: ILLESHEIM, BY, DE
    Hometown: COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, US
    Hometown: FORT CARSON, CO, US
    Hometown: FORT RUCKER, AL, US
    Hometown: PUEBLO, CO, US

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