German helicopters refuel with help of 4th CAB troops

U.S. Army photo - Spc. Ronald Phillips, a petroleum supply specialist in Alpha Company, 404th Aviation Support Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, refuels a German CH-53 “Pave Low” for the first time at the brigade’s forward arming and refueling point. - -

By Spc. Sean C. Harriman

4th Combat Aviation Brigade

public affairs

CAMP MARMAL, AFGHANISTAN - The 4th Combat Aviation Brigade continues to make history as two German helicopters refueled at the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade's nearly established forward arming and refueling point or "FARP" on Aug 5.

The German CH-53 '"Pave Low" aircraft landed near the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade's refueling point, were guided in by soldiers from the 404th Aviation Support Battalion, Task Force Provider, and were then refueled while running in under 20 minutes.

A forward arming and refueling point allows aircraft to perform "hot refueling" or, refueling and rearming with engines still running, enabling the aircraft to fly missions almost non-stop.

"It's a faster way of fueling so that you can push birds out into formation," said Sgt. Miguel Melendez-Medina, an Alpha Company petroleum supply specialist and the noncommisoned officer in charge of the forward arming and refueling point.

Although excited about the "opportunity to show them" how we operate, Melendez-Medina understood that cooperation was essential.

"It all depends on them," he said.

The soldiers manning the forward arming and refueling point are positive about their current mission and the idea of working with other nations.

"It's good how they wanted to come down here and see how we run things," said Spc. Walter Clement, also a petroleum supply specialist in Alpha Company.

Capt. Andrej Classen, a pilot and aircraft commander of one of the CH-53s to be refueled, and an officer in the German army was positive about the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade's arrival and impact in northern Afghanistan.

"You (Americans) do everything very big," said Classen. "When you come here you bring everything in big amounts."

"When you do something, you do it right," he said.

Since the forward arming and refueling point became operational July 28, it has refueled more than 96 aircraft, including the two CH-53s and dispensed more than 22,500 gallons of fuel.

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