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Airmen Execute Forward Area Refueling Point Operations at Twentynine Palms

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class William Turnbull
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs

A dry and desolate landscape flanked by mountains provided the perfect austere environment to use a makeshift runway to test the 355th Wing’s Dynamic capabilities.

Twentynine Palms, California provided the unique AM-2 matting landing zone, created with steel plates joined together. In contingency operations, AM-2 matting would be the runway of choice in areas without improved surfaces for pilots to land, refuel, rearm, and get back to the fight.

Multi-capable Airmen from across the 355th Wing flew in an HC-130J Combat King II assigned to the 79th Rescue Squadron to assist and observe 357th Fighter Squadron A-10 Thunderbolt IIs receive ground refueling at the Twentynine Palms Expeditionary Landing Field.

These Airmen supported the groundwork necessary for austere landing and forward area refueling point operations between an HC-130J and four A-10s.

“This was the first time A-10s have executed a FARP operation at Twentynine Palms,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Julian Rooks, 357th Fighter Squadron director of operations. “Hopefully this will pave the way for more intense Agile Combat Employment training opportunities at the expeditionary airfield.”

FARP and ACE go hand-in-hand and enable applied knowledge of the expeditionary skills necessary to fight and survive in contested and austere environments.

“We’re using this unit level exercise as an opportunity to allow MCA trained Airmen to see their skills in action. The intent is to put a face to the name of MCA training,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Joel Bier, 357th FS commander. 

The 355th Wing continues to lead the way in Agile Combat Employment concepts through developing MCA skills to generate operational unpredictability.