Friday, January 22, 2021

U.S. Marines show off expeditionary capabilities at San Clemente Island

U.S. Marine Corps highlights its expeditionary capabilities during training on San Clemente Island, the southernmost of the Channel Islands of California.

According to a press release issued Monday by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, U.S. Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 371 established two forward arming and refueling points (FARP) during the training, showcasing MWSS-371’s ability to employ multiple FARPs both ashore and on remote islands.

Also noted that supported aircraft from Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 13 included AV-8B Harriers and F-35B Lightning II fighters, which were able to conduct distributed operations throughout Southern California and Arizona as part of a large force exercise.

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“We are putting MAG-13 aircraft through the FARP exercising our MWSS capabilities to do both loading and refueling,” said Lt. Col. Michael Cassidy, the air boss for San Clemente Island.

Providing fast and efficient methods of arming and refueling, FARP operations enhance the unit’s ability to remain proficient and maintain their readiness. Incorporating air support into mission planning gives Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) commanders the ability to extend the reach of air assets organic to the Marine Corps.

A FARP has multiple refueling points across a landing zone, or multiple locations, that allow aircraft to land and obtain fuel and load ordnance during a mission. The group of Marines used to support each refueling point consist of bulk fuel specialists, aircraft ordnance technicians, motor transport, heavy equipment and field radio operators.

MWSS-371 Marines were able to set up the FARP within a few hours. With quick and efficient set up, this facet of expeditionary advanced base operations (EABO) is employable in austere environments.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jaime Reyes

“This exercise allows us to showcase our ability to conduct refueling operations in an expeditionary environment,” said Capt. Dustin Kruger, the El Centro site commander. “Having task-organized FARP teams capable of establishing refueling nodes in different locations allows us to increase sortie generation throughout the battlespace. It is a critical component that enables our aircraft supporting our ground units in the maneuver element. These teams extend the operational reach of the MAGTF, serving as another reminder of what makes the Marine Corps unique.”

Maintaining readiness and lethality allows units to be deployable on short notice, keeping our adversaries at bay and remaining ready for the fight of tomorrow.

3rd MAW continues to “Fix, Fly and Fight” as the Marine Corps’ largest aircraft wing, and remains combat-ready, deployable on short notice, and lethal when called into action.

Photo by Sgt. Charles Plouffe

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Executive Editor

About this Author

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is technology editor for Defenсe Blog. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere.

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