The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) successfully evaluated at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, the CC-130J Hercules aircraft’s capability to refuel vehicles and other aircraft using the Forward Arming and Refuelling Point (FARP) system.With the FARP system in place, the CC-130J can supply other aircraft or military vehicles with internal fuel, or even other types of fuel that could pumped from a tank in its cargo compartment. "It is significant to have the capability to support deployed operations in remote or austere conditions by refuelling aircraft or vehicles in situ",said the Operations Officer of 436 (Transport) Squadron. “This capability significantly lessens the logistic burden to short term deployed operations in remote areas such as the Canadian Arctic Region. It also allows the Canadian Forces to operate equipment, which may have special fuel requirements, in nearly any environment where the CC-130J could land.”The recent FARP evaluation at 8 Wing, was conducted by 436 Squadron members and a technical expert from Lockheed Martin. Aerospace and Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron (ATESS) provided a Tutor aircraft to be used for the refueling test. Another important participant of the evaluation was the 8 Wing Fire Hall, which provided a crash truck to be on hand to ensure everyone’s safety.The FARP evaluation was initiated by 1 Canadian Air Division to prove that the CC-130J is capable of performing the FARP mission and to determine safe and effective operating practices including communication between the flight deck and the ground handlers, set-up and tear-down of the system, refuelling procedures and safety protocols.“We handily met all of our test objectives” said a spokesman.The FARP system follows a very straightforward process. The internal fuel pumps on the CC-130J are used to generate pressure in the fuel system, which can be configured to upload or download fuel. In this case, the pumps are configured to offload fuel and a refuelling hose is connected to the single point refuelling (SPR) port on the CC-130J. The hose is then pumped full of fuel and the nozzle on the end of the hose is used to refuel the vehicle or aircraft. The Load Master (LM) remains on the flight deck and operates the fuel control panel while the Technical Crewman (TCM) watches over the ground operations. During the process, the LM and TCM are in constant communication via the aircraft intercom system and the TCM communicates via hand signals with the personnel at the nozzle end of the hose, maintaining a safety watch to ensure all goes smoothly. The CC-130J crew, with assistance from the unit receiving the fuel, set up and tear down the FARP system once the refuelling is completed. “For this evaluation we followed the FARP job-guide from the CC-130H and combined procedures from the CC-130J refuelling operations; our team then experimented with various methods of installing and uninstalling the system, developed communication protocols and evaluated different methods of draining the wet hose after the operation is complete,” said MWO Rodrigue. “Careful notes and measurements were taken and all personnel involved in the evaluation were asked for input on proposals to improve the process, which we then reported back to 1 Canadian Air Division,” he added.The FARP capability will benefit the CF in most of its operations as all CF equipment that uses JP-8 and other fuels can be refuelled on-site, including armoured vehicles in the field. The system could also be used to refill fuel bladders or remote fuel cache's anywhere the CC-130J could land, which is practically anywhere and in diverse environmental conditions.The FARP capability will be used on Operation NORTHERN REACH in July when the CC-130J will refuel the Snowbirds Demonstration as they perform for the first time in many years in Norman Wells and Watson Lake, Northwest Territories.“While this capability is still developmental, once mature it will benefit many RCAF missions including SAR and Northern Sovereignty operations across the Canadian Arctic,they not only carry the load, more so, they can supply fuel everywhere. Source: Lt Christopher Daniel, 8 Wing Public Affairs Officer
Gravity always wins!