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FARP Tryouts Test Airmen for Special Operations

Forward Area Refueling Point team members held their biannual tryouts for 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron Airmen at their fuels compound January seventeenth, twenty twenty.

Airmen of the eighteenth LRS petroleum, oil and lubricant flight bear the responsibility of refueling aircraft for hundreds of sorties at Kadena Air Base, and Forward Area Refueling Point assists with Air Force Special Operations refueling around the world.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Joseph Murvich, 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels distribution operator, squeegees a 300-ft. fuel hose while Senior Airman William Comstock, 18th LRS Forward Area Refueling Point team member, motivates him to finish during a FARP tryout event at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Jan. 17, 2020. Tryouts enabled the FARP team to identify and recruit the most mentally and physically capable LRS Airmen who will attend additional training in preparation for special operations at night and in austere environments in support of forward-deployed combat units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Forward Area Refueling Point team members held their biannual tryouts for 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron Airmen at their fuels compound January seventeenth, twenty twenty.

Airmen of the eighteenth LRS petroleum, oil and lubricant flight bear the responsibility of refueling aircraft for hundreds of sorties at Kadena Air Base, and Forward Area Refueling Point assists with Air Force Special Operations refueling around the world.

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 18th Logistics Squadron conduct tryouts for the Forward Area Refueling Point team at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Jan. 17, 2020. The FARP team recruits Airmen who are able to withstand the physical endurance test as well as pass interviews in a selection process to find the most qualified candidates for Air Force special operations demands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Forward Area Refueling Point team members held their biannual tryouts for 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron Airmen at their fuels compound January seventeenth, twenty twenty.

Airmen of the eighteenth LRS petroleum, oil and lubricant flight bear the responsibility of refueling aircraft for hundreds of sorties at Kadena Air Base, and Forward Area Refueling Point assists with Air Force Special Operations refueling around the world.

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron conduct tryouts for the Forward Area Refueling Point team at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Jan. 17, 2020. Tryouts enabled the FARP team to identify and recruit the most mentally and physically capable LRS Airmen who will attend additional training in preparation for special operations at night and in austere environments in support of forward-deployed combat units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Forward Area Refueling Point team members held their biannual tryouts for 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron Airmen at their fuels compound January seventeenth, twenty twenty.

Airmen of the eighteenth LRS petroleum, oil and lubricant flight bear the responsibility of refueling aircraft for hundreds of sorties at Kadena Air Base, and Forward Area Refueling Point assists with Air Force Special Operations refueling around the world.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Tyler Moore, 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels distribution operator, squeegees a 300-ft. fuel hose while Staff Sgt. Chandler Nowell, 18th LRS Forward Area Refueling Point team member, motivates him to finish during a FARP tryout event at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Jan. 17, 2020. In order to pass the test Moore had to drag out a 300-ft. hose, run back to retrieve equipment, squeegee the length of the hose, return to the end point to roll up and carry another 100-ft. hose, lift and hold a 90-lb. hose bundle above his head, then finish with 20 pushups in cadence with FARP team members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Forward Area Refueling Point team members held their biannual tryouts for 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron Airmen at their fuels compound January seventeenth, twenty twenty.

Airmen of the eighteenth LRS petroleum, oil and lubricant flight bear the responsibility of refueling aircraft for hundreds of sorties at Kadena Air Base, and Forward Area Refueling Point assists with Air Force Special Operations refueling around the world.

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron conduct tryouts for the Forward Area Refueling Point team at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Jan. 17, 2020. By designing a test that pushes Airmen beyond their exhaustion point, the FARP team can selectively identify candidates who show an ability to withstand rigors of special operations missions. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo by 18th LRS)

Forward Area Refueling Point team members held their biannual tryouts for 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron Airmen at their fuels compound January seventeenth, twenty twenty.

Airmen of the eighteenth LRS petroleum, oil and lubricant flight bear the responsibility of refueling aircraft for hundreds of sorties at Kadena Air Base, and Forward Area Refueling Point assists with Air Force Special Operations refueling around the world.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Deven Johnson, 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels hydrant supervisor, lifts a 90-lb. hose during a Forward Area Refueling Point tryout event at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Jan. 17, 2020. Johnson and other FARP candidates endured a multiple-phase physical test designed to exhaust their physical limits. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Forward Area Refueling Point team members held their biannual tryouts for 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron Airmen at their fuels compound January seventeenth, twenty twenty.

Airmen of the eighteenth LRS petroleum, oil and lubricant flight bear the responsibility of refueling aircraft for hundreds of sorties at Kadena Air Base, and Forward Area Refueling Point assists with Air Force Special Operations refueling around the world.

U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Douglas Teutsch, 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron plans and programs officer in charge, lifts a 90-lb. hose during a Forward Area Refueling Point tryout event at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Jan. 17, 2020. FARP teams hold tryouts in order to find the best qualified candidates for Air Force Special Operations Command mission requirements which require Airmen to withstand physical and mental stress of unpredictable forward-deployed operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

Forward Area Refueling Point team members held their biannual tryouts for 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron Airmen at their fuels compound January seventeenth, twenty twenty.

Airmen of the eighteenth LRS petroleum, oil and lubricant flight bear the responsibility of refueling aircraft for hundreds of sorties at Kadena Air Base, and Forward Area Refueling Point assists with Air Force Special Operations refueling around the world.

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron do pushups at the end of a tryout for the Forward Area Refueling Point team at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Jan. 17, 2020. In order to meet the unique mission requirements of Air Force Special Operations Command, FARP teams conduct rigorous selection and training programs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --

Forward Area Refueling Point (FARP) team members held their biannual tryouts for 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron Airmen at their fuels compound Jan. 17, 2020.

Airmen of the 18th LRS petroleum, oil and lubricant (POL) flight bear the responsibility of refueling aircraft for hundreds of sorties at Kadena Air Base, and FARP assists with Air Force Special Operations refueling around the world.

"We're one of only a few bases that support Air Force Special Operations Command FARP teams, and it's a very small, tightly-knit community," said Staff Sgt. Chandler Nowell, FARP team member.
"We're able to go out and do forward area refueling from a C-130, something normal POL doesn't do."

For their specialized job, typically under the cover of darkness and in austere environments, Airmen must meet unique physical and mental demands of rapidly refueling military aircraft.

"Tryouts are necessary because this a very physically demanding special operation in itself," said Nowell. "What we want to see is if they actually have the capability of completing it and continuing on afterwards."

The event consisted of dragging out a 300-ft. hose, pulling a specialized squeegee down the entire length, rolling up a fuel hose, carrying it back across the field, holding up another 90-lb. hose bundle overhead with outstretched arms, and finishing with twenty pushups.

"This simulates an actual FARP, and we want this team to not only be able to finish the mission, but also reengage if something unexpected comes up," added Nowell. "Not everybody that passes a normal Air Force fitness test can also make it through this test."

Training themselves to be ready for the unexpected is necessary for FARP members to meet not only AFSOC needs, but also that of joint and allied forces with forward area refueling mission requirements in combat zones.

"What we bring to the table is being able to set up refueling capability at any airfield in the world," said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Marshall, FARP team NCOIC. "We can refuel helicopters downrange and get them back in the fight as soon as possible."

FARP Airmen bring specialized capabilities to any fight, and the 353rd Special Operations Group C-130Js fly them to any airfield in the world. Together, the 18th Wing and AFSOC provide mission commanders a broader set of tactics to increase joint lethality and enhance agile combat employment.