MARINE CORPS OUTLYING FIELD CAMP DAVIS N.C. --
A Forward Arming and Refueling Point was established at
Marine Corps Outlying Field Camp Davis, near Holly Ridge, N.C., to support
aircraft and provide real-world training experience to Marines from Marine
Corps Air Station New River from July 8 through 10.
The FARP allowed
Marines from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269 to refuel and reload
near training areas despite construction at MCAS New River’s Combat Aircraft
Loading Area, said Capt. David Fickle, the officer in charge of the FARP and
the Airfields Operation Company Commander with Marine Wing Support Squadron
The troops in the sky
were there to perform close air support training with 2nd Marine Division’s 3rd
Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.
On the ground, teams
of bulk fuel, aircraft ordnance, mobile air traffic control, and fire and
emergency personnel ensure the aircraft are ready to participate in the
As an aircraft landed
on Camp Davis, Marines stood by along the edges of the landing site and swarmed
it, topping off fuel and loading the weapons with ammunition in quick practiced
If the site was not
available, the aircraft would have to travel to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry
Point to refuel and reload, said Fickle. At Camp Davis, the aircraft can be
serviced in close proximity to their home in New River and the range.
“We’re enabling them to go and do their shoots,” Gunnery
Sgt. Dione Briscoe, the fuels chief with MWSS-274. “They can continue to train.
We support them so they can do what they need to do.”
The FARP is imperative so the Marines can train effectively,
It’s a job they do
quickly. Within 45 minutes of touching down, the aircraft are back in the sky.
The process was
previously much quicker; many aircraft have transitioned from linked rounds to
individual rounds which must be fed into the weapon.
competence over speed.
“There are a lot of dynamics to consider,” said Fickle. “If
we’re doing things smoothly and using the proper procedures, it will produce
the most efficient results.”
While competence and speed are important, safety is
paramount, he added.
“You want to do it as quickly as possible to get the birds
back in the sky, but we’re always looking to be as safe as possible,” said
Lance Cpl. Michael Trentman, an aircraft ordnance technician with HMLA 269.
It’s not just the
safety of the service members taken into account, berms surround fuel vehicle,
protecting the environment from spills.
“One of our priorities is to deliver the fuel in a safe
manner,” said Fickle. “We are always ready to respond if any spill should
It’s important to protect nearby communities, Fickle added.
Throughout the week,
the Marines filled and reloaded aircraft 18 times with 200 to 300 gallons of
fuel each time.
“In order for them to have the most on-station time possible
in a realistic training environment this FARP is absolutely critical,” said