An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | June 20, 2024

U.S.-Philippine bilateral airfield operations: MWSS-371 conducts FARP operations with Philippine Sailors at Laoag

By Cpl. Nikolas Mascroft, I Marine Expeditionary Force

U.S. Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, strengthened ties with their Philippine counterparts by conducting bilateral forward arming and refueling point operations during Marine Aviation Support Activity 24, at Laoag, Philippines, June 3 – June 21, 2024.

MASA is an annual Philippine-U.S. military exercise focused on mutual defense, strengthening relationships, and rehearsing emerging aviation concepts, including enhancing the bilateral capabilities of the U.S.-Philippine aviation forces and interoperability of the combined joint forces operating in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Our main purpose here is to train the Philippine Navy how to properly establish a forward arming and refueling point,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Cameron O’Connor, an expeditionary fuel technician with MWSS-371. “By doing this we can expand upon our aviation capabilities with our Philippine allies.”

A FARP is designed to provide refueling and rearming to rotary or fixed-wing assets, expanding the reach and capacity of aircraft during operations in forward environments.

As the aviation combat element of I MEF (Fwd), Marine Aircraft Group 13 executed expeditionary advanced base operations during MASA 24 through the hub, spoke, and node concept, with varying levels of capability, survivability, and sustainability based on mission requirements and geographic considerations. A FARP is significant to the node by providing rapid refueling and rearming to joint, allied, and partner aircraft of any type-model series in austere locations and extending their effective ranges.

Before establishing a live FARP, the U.S. Marines and Philippine Sailors conducted a three-week-long subject matter expert exchange at Clark Air Base. Throughout the exchange, Philippine Sailors took a FARP operators course that focused on various topics such as hand and arm signals, airfield safety, identifying the type and layouts of FARPS, and quality surveillance. This familiarized both units with properly operating a FARP and utilizing expeditionary fuel equipment in locations with minimal infrastructure.

The course ended in a culminating event in which Sailors set up a simulated FARP to ensure the complete integration of the U.S. and Philippine teams before establishing a live FARP at Laoag International Airport and supporting real-world flight operations.

“Despite them operating completely different from the way we typically do, the way they performed during the SMEE by quickly picking up on how we operate and being able to perform just as well is awesome,” said O’Connor. “That alone gave me confidence that the [Philippine] Sailors would have no issues working side by side with my Marines during the real deal.”

Following the conclusion of the operators course, the Marines and Philippine Sailors were air-inserted into Laoag International Airport where they established a live assault FARP. In Laoag, they supported various joint aircraft conducting flight operations in support of the bilateral littoral live-fire exercise and Maritime Key Terrain Security Operations of MASA 24. The LLFX showcased U.S. and Philippine integrated command and control capabilities in a territorial defense scenario featuring a coordinated bilateral surface and maritime strike. The MKTSO operations allowed U.S. and Philippine Marines to practice seizing and securing key island terrain in a scenario to allow for follow-on forces and equipment.

“Space limitations and airport landing restrictions here at Laoag is why an assault FARP was constructed,” said U.S. Marine Corps CWO2 Roberto Montecino, an expeditionary fuel officer with MWSS-371. “This allows aircraft to safely taxi into the refueling point for follow-on operations.”

Conducting assault FARPs maintains the ability of the U.S.-Philippine forces to support any type of aircraft they are tasked with, including rotary and fixed-wing aircraft from across the combined joint force.

“The Marines and Sailors have been working great together here,” said O’Connor “I can confidently say I look forward to working with them in the future.”

​The execution of joint FARP operations between the U.S.-Philippine armed forces has been invaluable to both Allied nations, building upon decades of combined joint training, shared relationships, and trust. The U.S.-Philippine team remains interoperable, postured, and ready to support their shared investment in a free and open Indo-Pacific.

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
MRF-D 24.3 U.S. Marines, Sailors, ADF concludes amphibious operations during WADER aboard HMAS Adelaide
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Josue RobleroGonzalez, a motor transport operator with Combat Logistics Battalion 5 (Reinforced), Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 24.3, drives a HMMWV from a Royal Australian Navy Landing Craft assigned to HMAS Adelaide (L01) on to Cowley Beach for an amphibious ship-to-shore operation during the Wet and Dry Exercise Rehearsal at Cowley Beach Training Area, QLD, Australia, June 16, 2024. During WADER, elements from the MRF-D Marine Air-Ground Task Force will conduct MV-22B Osprey deck landing qualifications, a live-fire deck shoot, medical subject matter expert exchanges, enhance amphibious fires, command and control, and initiate a ship-to-shore movement in order to set conditions for future operational tasking. RobleroGonzalez is a native of North Carolina. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Kassie McDole)
June 20, 2024 - U.S. Marines and Sailors with Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D) 24.3 concluded the Wet and Dry Exercise Rehearsal (WADER) aboard HMAS Adelaide (L01) from June 2 - 20...

U.S. 7th Fleet, Blue Ridge Team Conduct Maneuvering Exercise with French Navy
240614-N-PH222-1064
PHILIPPINE SEA (June 14, 2024) - U.S. Navy 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), left, conducts a maneuvering exercise with the French Navy Aquitaine-class frigate FS Bretagne (D 655) in the Philippine Sea during Valiant Shield 2024, June 14, 2024. Exercises such as Valiant Shield allow the Indo-Pacific Command Joint Forces the opportunity to integrate forces from all branches of services and with our allies to conduct precise, overwhelming multi-axis, multi-domain effects that demonstrate the strength and versatility of the Joint Force and our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan M. Breeden)
June 17, 2024 - Sailors assigned to both U.S. 7th Fleet and the 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) conducted a maneuvering exercise with the French Navy Aquitaine-class frigate FS Bretagne (D 655), during Valiant Shield 2024, June...

Hawaii Air National Guard Hosts Sentry Aloha Joint Exercise
An A-10 Warthog and F-16 Fighting Falcon from the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Test Center, an F-16 from the 177th Fighter Wing, an F-35A Lighting II from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, and an F-22 Raptor, operated by the 199th and 19th Fighter Squadrons, assemble during exercise Sentry Aloha 24-2 June 6, 2024, above the island of Hawaii. This iteration of the exercise involved approximately 1,060 participants and more than 40 aircraft from nine states,  operating out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and Onizuka Kona International Airport, Keāhole.
June 17, 2024 - The Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing concluded the latest iteration of its ongoing fighter exercise, Sentry Aloha 24-2, June 12 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam...

Strengthening Military-Civilian Relations and Partnerships on Global Health Security
Australian Rear Adm. Sonya Bennett, Australian Defence Force surgeon general, gives opening remarks to the Military Civilian Health Security Summit co-hosted by the Australian Defence Force, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in Sydney, June 16, 2024. Established in 2018, the MCHSS symbolizes a unified commitment to address global health security challenges and provides an opportunity for participants to share valuable insights and enhance regional readiness by improving coordination and collaboration between military and civilian entities. USINDOPACOM is committed to enhancing stability in the Indo-Pacific region by promoting security cooperation, encouraging peaceful development, responding to contingencies and deterring aggression. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Austin Riel)
June 17, 2024 - SYDNEY — The Australian Defence Force and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command co-hosted the Military Civilian Health Security Summit in Sydney, June 16-17, bringing together 23 Indo-Pacific partner nations, international organizations,...

U.S.-Philippine littoral live-fire training success
U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 214, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, assemble a GBU-32 joint direct attack munition onto a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II with VMFA-214, MAG 13, 3rd MAW, before a littoral live-fire exercise off the coast of Ilocos Norte and Zambales during Marine Aviation Support Activity 24 on Clark Air Base, Philippines, June 15, 2024. The LLFX showcased the integrated command and control capabilities of the U.S. and Philippine Armed Forces in a territorial defense scenario featuring a coordinated bilateral and maritime strike. MASA is an annual Philippine-U.S. military exercise focused on mutual defense, strengthening relationships, and rehearsing emerging aviation concepts. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Shaina Jupiter)
June 17, 2024 - On June 15, 2024, elements of the Philippine and U.S. armed forces conducted a live-fire event for Marine Aviation Support Activity (MASA) 24. MASA is an annual Philippine-U.S. military exercise taking place in the...