The US Navy’s Henry J Kaiser-class military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet replenishment oiler USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO-99) has successfully completed a fuelling evolution at-sea with the tanker Maersk Peary.
Performed in the international waters off the coast of Sasebo in Japan, the fuelling operations at-sea with a commercial vessel was part of a four-day training event.
Logistics Group Western Pacific (COMLOG WESTPAC) commander assistant chief of staff for logistics (N4) captain Philippe Grandjean said: "Typically MSC oilers like Tippecanoe are required to dock pier-side at one of the navy’s defence fuel support points.
"The capability exercised during this training evolution pushes the navy’s ability to refuel at-sea via commercial tankers and furthers the vision of a distributed, agile logistics concept."
Maersk Peary is currently under a long-term charter to MSC. This is one of the four MSC charters that have been specially outfitted to perform consolidated cargo capability operations with fleet replenishment oilers.
The refuelling between the vessels marked a significant step in increasing proficiency with at-sea fuel consolidation operation between tankers, the US Navy stated.
COMLOG WESTPAC logistics deputy assistant chief of staff commander Michael Wilson said: "Our replenishment oiler crews must be proficient in receiving fuel from commercial tankers in case, for some reason, a natural disaster for example, a vital asset cannot make it into port to refuel.
"These operations provide MSC with flexibility in providing operational support to the 7th Fleet in any situation."
Henry J Kaiser Class Replenishment Oilers have five fuelling stations that are capable of refilling two vessels at once and can pump up to 900,000gal of diesel and 540,000gal of jet fuel an hour.