KHOWST PROVINCE – U.S. Army National Guard Capt. Randy Cuyler, a 3-19th ADT hydrologist and resident of Southbend, Ind., works side by side with Omar, caretaker of the (click for more)
Pfc. Randall Kinnaman from Norman, Okla., provides security in a village in the Charbaran District Oct. 27 during Task Force White Currahee Toccoa Tikurah, the largest combined air assault mission (click for more)
Army Lt. Col. Wiley Blevins, Bamyan ETT leader, from Wilmington, Del.; and Army Maj. Timothy Drake, contracting officer for the ETT from Lewes, Del., meet Oct. 25 with the contractor (click for more)
U.S. Army National Guard Lt. Col. Pamela Moody, 3-19th ADT Women’s Outreach Team and resident of Indianapolis, meets with Hasina Akhmad Ziy, principal of the Khowst girls school with the (click for more)
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class David A. Rogers of Bloomington, Minn., Kunar PRT engineer, and Shafak Pervez, electrical engineer with the USACE, inspect a generator control panel Nov. 1 (click for more)
KUNAR PROVINCE – U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joel Vowell of Birmingham, Ala., commander of the 101st Airborne Division's Task Force No Slack, addresses village elders at the Narang (click for more)
Police officer Javeed Hakmal (left) and Lt. Sherwali Hakmal stand in front of police headquarters in Mehtar Lam. Javeed and his father Sherwali graduated from the Laghman Province police academy (click for more)
Members of Paktya Provincial Reconstruction Team provide security during a shura in Mirzaka Nov. 4. The shura gave new PRT personnel the opportunity to introduce themselves to local Afghan leadership (click for more)
KUNAR PROVINCE - Army Spc. Brandon Brouhard, a combat medic from Modesto, Calif., assigned to Task Force No Slack, pulls on his helmet and gear to prepare for his tower (click for more)
KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Soldiers of Echo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment form a small unit charged with a big job in Kunar province.
They serve as the Camp Wright Forward Armament and Refueling Point, responsible for fueling and arming helicopters, supporting battle space owners and maneuver elements within Task Force Mountain Warrior’s area of operations.
The unit of approximately a dozen soldiers has a simple motto that sums up what the FARP soldiers bring to the overall effort in Afghanistan.
“Our motto is ‘make mission happen.’ That’s it; that’s all we do,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Quentin Colbert, FARP non-commissioned officer-in-charge. “No matter what the situation is or the terrain we’re in, we make the mission happen. We refuel all the military and contract helicopters, and support the ground elements on all of (Forward Operating Base) Wright with fuel for the generators and vehicles. No one gets to the fight without us. You’ve got to have that fuel and ammo.”
According to Colbert, the FARP can and does pump as much aviation fuel as operations require. His unit also rearms helicopters providing close air support to ground troops who are in contact with insurgents.
“These pumps can push out 350 gallons per minute. So, we could pump nearly 100,000 gallons in a day if that is what was need,” said Colbert, a native of Roberta, Ga. “We also load munitions for the Kiowa and Apache aircraft, including rockets, Hellfire missiles, illumination rounds and .50 caliber and 30 mm munitions. We support any and all aircraft that stop at this FARP. If you need fuel, we’ll give you fuel. If you need ammunition, we’ll give you ammunition.”
Colbert said the FARP runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week to deliver support to the warfighters because “the war doesn’t take a day off.”
Because it is a small unit, each Soldier must rely on the other to help get the mission done.
U.S. Army Sgt. Alexander Valentin, a native of Oxford, N.C., said that while it may not seem like the FARP has a direct hand in a fire fight, the unit does makes an impact.
“You might not think you are supporting the people on the ground, but you are. When they call for fire and those helicopters come, it’s like a saving grace,” Valentin said. “When they see them flying overhead to save them, we know it’s because we refuelled and rearmed them and got them back in the fight as fast as we could.”
On Jan. 18, the FARP soldiers demonstrated their mission to perfection. A mounted patrol in Task Force Rock’s area of operations took small arms fire and soon called for close air support.
From the flight line at Camp Wright, the FARP soldiers watched AH-64 Apache helicopters from Task Force Lighthorse deliver lethal munitions and provide over watch to the ground assault convoy. After hovering in the air, the Apaches called the FARP and made a quick descent to refuel and rearm and get back into the fight.
The FARP soldiers moved with precision and purpose, and within minutes the helicopters were back in the air doing their mission.
U.S. Army Spc. Frank Joseph, from Savannah, Ga., said that being a fuel and munitions specialist requires stamina and a keen eye for safety.
“I love my job, it can’t be any better. My mission is to make sure all those birds have fuel and ammo,” said Joseph, who was born in Haiti and grew up there and in Jamaica. “It doesn’t matter your (Military Occupational Specialty), we help each other out. You have to be careful and think safety first, but its fun and a good workout. Without us, the mission doesn’t get done. Whatever they ask, we work to get it done. That’s our job, 24-7.”
The Echo Troop, 3-17 CAV also conducts FARP operations at Camp Blessing in Kunar Province and FOB Fenty in Nangarhar province.
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|Security Forces begin clearing eastern Pech River Valley|
KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, conducted an air assault into the eastern Pech River Valley in continued pursuit of militant fighters in the Kunar Province Nov. 12.
|ANP receive new stations in Kapisa|
KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – French Army Col. Georges German, the Task Force La Fayette deputy commander; and Nijrab District Deputy Gov. Mohamad Safi and chief of police inaugurated the Mollah Bashro police station here Nov. 2.
|Operations conclude in Pech River Valley|
KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The combined security force of Afghan National Security Forces and International Security Assistance Force Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, finished clearing operations in the western Pech River Valley here Nov. 3.
|TF Iron conducts air assault to stop insurgent attacks|
GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Task Force Iron Rakkasans continue thwart insurgent activities as three platoons took part in an air assault operation into Shamshay Village, Andar District, here Oct. 29.