FARP operations held at SLN

SAA News Release

FARP operations held at SLN

Kristen Lingg
Salina Airport Authority Intern

Salina, Kan., (September 28, 2011) - Soldiers from Fort Riley's Combat Aviation Brigade held a forward arming and refueling point operation at Salina Municipal Airport to aid in training exercises at the Smoky Hill Air National Guard Weapons Range during September.

A FARP is a temporary location organized, equipped and deployed that is normally located closer to the area of operation than the aviation unit's combat service area to support tactical combat operations.

"We perform FARP operations to train and prepare for deployments," said Capt. Pete Gerboth. "When deployed, our E Company and support battalion operate FARPs which are one of our few means of refueling. Besides the actual refueling of the aircraft, the training involved setting up and tearing down a FARP, as well as establishing a Jump FARP, which simulates moving the FARP after being engaged by hostile forces. Our E Company also trained on reacting to inderect fire, evalutaing the casualties, calling in our MEDEVAC and actually flying out the 'injured' soldier back to Ft. Riley."

The Salina Municipal Airport provided an ideal location for the OH-58 Kiowa Warriors and the UH-60 Blackhawks to conduct this training due to its position between Fort Riley and the weapons range. Salina Airport Authority recently installed six new helipads, which aid in these types of training activities.

"Setting up the FARP on the Salina Airport enabled us to utilize the National Guard resources on the airfield," said Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Troth, a public affairs spokesman. "Not only did it allow us faster refueling for our training in the weapons range, but it also gives the soldiers who fuel the helicopters practice in this area."

Aviation adds versatility to crucial points in combat. Its ability to rapidly deploy and operate effectively in a hostile environment is invaluable. A FARP allows the unit to re-arm and refuel quickly thus extending the range of the aircraft, becoming a more efficient combat tool. The unit is granted an advantage by being able to apply continuous pressure on the enemy.

"A FARP can be compared to a NASCAR pit crew in aviation. As soon as the helicopter lands, the fuelers ground the aircraft and are finished in less than five minutes," Troth said. "Pilots fly in for a quick pit stop where they are fueled, armed and go right back to the operation site."

The Salina Airport Authority is proud to aid the fighting men and women of the armed services as they train for deployments in support of our nation.

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Smoky Hill Air National Guard Weapons Range

Located 10 miles west of Salina, Kan., the Smoky Hill Weapons Range is the largest and busiest Air National Guard bombing range in the nation, encompassing 51 square miles, and has more than 100 tactical targets and an electronic warfare range. The complex provides approximately 36 thousand acres for combined arms training, allowing active and reserve component military organizations to train jointly in a realistic environment that combines ground and air assets in operational training in a way that's possible at only a few sites throughout the United States. The Smoky Hill range provides airspace within a Federal Aviation Administration sanctioned Military Operational Area, which permits active and reserve units to operate both piloted and unmanned aircraft in training scenarios.

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The Salina Airport Authority has developed the premier airport and industrial center in the Midwest. The board of directors and staff are proactive in providing the citizens ofSalina, Saline County and North Central Kansas with a center that support business and industry which in turn, provides jobs and payroll that benefit the region.

The Salina Airport Authority is home to the Salina Municipal Airport, the Salina Aviation Service Center and the Salina Airport Industrial Center.

Source: Salina Airport Authority

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