Fort Polk Community
Task Force Lobos Operates at JRTC
Story by SGT Shiloh Capers on 01/08/2019
Fort Hood, Texas — The 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment completed the first phase of their Joint Readiness Training Center rotation at Fort Polk, Louisiana, Jan. 4.
The battalion’s mission at JRTC is to support the 2nd Security Forces Assistance Brigade (SFAB).
Phase one consisted of initial occupation using Task Force Lobos’ own aircraft, rapid deployment and utilizing the mission essential command systems. Phase one also tested the battalion by conducting a Chemical, Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) sweep, confirming no threat existed and then establishing communications.
Eight AH-64 Apaches, 10 UH-60 Black Hawks and three HH-60s were refueled immediately upon landing through fuel cells in two CH-47 Chinooks.
The Chinook’s each carried two fuel cells, called Extended Range Fuel System II (ERFS), carrying 1600 gallons of fuel per aircraft.
“We’re the only battalion that has the CH-47s in the brigade and the only company of CH-47s in the division,” said Capt. William Gaddy, logistics officer, 2-227 Aviation Regiment. “They’re the only machine that we have that bring that forward-deployment refuel capability via the air.”
It is not common to be able to deploy refuel capability by air, he said. However, the ability to conduct the operation enhances the speed of force which the task force is operating in to support the ground force commander.
The battalion’s coordination within the tactical refueling capability demonstrates their capability in allowing aircraft to land, be immediately refueled and ready for possible follow-on operations.
“Our tactical refueling capability extends the operational reach and freedom of maneuver of the aircraft as well as the endurance of the aircraft,” Gaddy said. “That provides more uninterrupted capability to the ground force commander.”
The battalion’s refueling capability is not restricted to aircraft. The system can be used to refuel ground vehicles, such as a tank, if required.
Task Force Lobos continues to provide support to the 2nd SFAB in JRTC while meeting their own Mission Essential Task List training in preparation for any possible future operation.