The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) chartered tanker ships are conducting fuel transfer using the CONSOLs-at-sea technique.

The two ships are MT Maersk Peary and SLNC Goodwill, which are supporting the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 exercise being held off the coast of Hawaii.

It is the first time CONSOLs or the consolidated cargo operations method is being used during a major exercise in the Pacific area of operations.

The two tanker ships are supporting the fuel requirements of MSC’s Combat Logistics Fleet (CLF) vessels.

As part of this maritime exercise, the MT Maersk Peary vessel is supplying JP5 aviation fuel and diesel ship fuel while the SLNC Goodwill is providing diesel ship fuel.

The fuel is being delivered to the MSC’s dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11) and two fleet replenishment oilers including USNS Henry J Kaiser (T-AO 187) and Pecos (T-AO 197).

The CONSOLs-at-sea process involves transferring of cargo fuel from MSC-controlled tankers using connected lines. It allows MSC to operate in a variety of missions across the globe.

During the consolidated cargo operations, each ship must manoeuvre alongside the other, while maintaining a consistent speed and course.

The tanker vessels create a gas station at sea for the ships, as CONSOLing can take hours to complete.

Maersk Peary master captain Michelle Laycock said: “If we can bring fuel to CLF ships, then their journeys can be shortened, and they can return much quicker to carrier groups or fleet groups that they need to service.”