Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Army Airborne is morphing. Are we seeing the rebirth of the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) under canopy?

via Fayobserver.
The "Airborne FARP" being tested by the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade could help Army helicopters reach the ground forces that train to parachute into enemy territory under the cover of darkness.

A FARP, or forward arming and refueling point, provides fuel and ammunition for helicopter crews.

Often, they are located at forward operating bases or airfields in areas with existing military security.

The 82nd Airborne wants to be able to place them well beyond the reach of those bases and closer to the front lines of battle. To do that, the 82nd is developing procedures to airdrop components of a FARP and the soldiers who would operate it.

That would extend the reach of helicopters, which unlike much of the 82nd Airborne's equipment, cannot be dropped from a plane.
And then this.
Three large packages slid from the back of the plane as massive parachutes filled with air above them. The air drops - which included simulated fuel, a pump system, ammunition and a Humvee - fell silently, punctuated by a reverberating thud upon landing.

Minutes later, the C-17 again flew over the drop zone. This time, it released about 50 paratroopers into the air.

Twenty soldiers, mostly assigned to A Company, 122nd Aviation Support Battalion, worked with little light and virtually no noise, unpacking the pump system, known as an Advanced Aviation Forward Area Refueling System, or AAFARS, and hooking it up to real fuel, delivered to the drop zone via truck to replace the water dropped as part of the exercise.
So let me get this straight.

The 82nd wants to be able to drop paratroopers, JLTVs (for recon), whatever they're calling the "ground mobility vehicle" to transport the paratroops, a new light tank, artillery, prime movers for the artillery and now they want to add an Airborne FARP to the list?

I won't even touch the USAF's ability to provide lift for all that.  I am gonna question what the end goal is.

What the fuck are they trying to do?

Historically the 82nd has been known as some pretty decent light infantry.
 Little Groups of Paratroops was their motto and they did the hard thing and did it well.


It seems like they're trying to morph into a medium weight force.  I have no problem if that's the goal, but to try and put all that gear under canopy is a fool's errand.  Quite honestly if I didn't know better I'd think that we're looking at the rebirth of the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized/Airborne).

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