Kadena Airmen conduct FARP training, advancing ACE abilities

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China M. Shock
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China M. Shock

Kadena Airmen conduct FARP training, advancing ACE abilities

by Airman 1st Class China M. Shock
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- 14th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots teamed up with Kadena Air Base Airmen from the 1st Special Operation Squadron to execute a forward area refueling point (FARP) exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 18.

“FARP allows us to refuel or re-arm an aircraft anywhere,” said Capt. Shamel Butler, the 1st SOS mission commander. “Doing this puts pilots closer to an objective, ensuring the mission can get accomplished further away from home.”

FARP is a rapid transfer of fuel from one aircraft to another, which in this case is an MC-130J Commando II and two F-16 Fighting Falcons; this concept allows fighter aircraft to land, refuel or re-arm before returning to air-battle operations within a short period of time in harsh territories.

“This training helps us prepare for real-world situations where in some cases we may have to land, refuel or re-arm and leave quickly,” Butler said.

To sustain readiness in adverse conditions, FARP training can take place anytime, day or night. When a fighter squadron has FARP support, choices are increased.

With FARP support, any accessible airfield or island can be used to refuel aircraft and get them back to the fight, which is why FARP plays a role in the U.S. military’s adaptive basing abilities to deliver airpower lethality more effectively and efficiently anywhere in the world.

“The ability to land in austere locations whether it be dirt strips or abandoned airfields and refuel any aircraft that can touch down to complete the mission is very exciting,” said Staff Sgt. John Choi, a 1st SOS instructor loadmaster.

Photo Caption:
A U.S. Air Force MC-130J Commando II refuels an F-16 Fighting Falcon with its engines on during a forward area refueling point training (FARP) exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 18, 2020. Without FARP capabilities, U.S. Air Force aircraft are limited to air-to-air refueling and permanently-installed bases for their refueling needs. However, when a fighter squadron has FARP support, options are vastly increased, as any accessible airfield or island can be used to replenish fighters and send them back to the fight.

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