Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
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July 3, 2010
USS George Washington completes underway replenishment with USNS Tippecanoe
USS George Washington press release by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Devon Dow
USS George Washington (CVN 73) completed an underway replenishment with fleet replenishment oiler USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199) June 30 while on its 2010 summer patrol.
The GW received more than 800,000 gallons of fuel, fresh fruits and vegetables and equipment the crew and aircraft need to maintain effective performance and readiness at sea.
"For the GW to have the availability to receive fuel and supplies from sea is vital to our mission," said Lt. Justin Baker, a GW supply officer. "It allows us to receive the supplies we need so we can continue to operate while underway. To witness the coordination between two ships, especially one this size, an UNREP is a unique experience to witness."
UNREP is the transfer of fuel, munitions, supplies and personnel from one vessel to another while ships are underway. With UNREP, a whole fleet can be re-supplied, rearmed and refueled in a matter of hours while proceeding on its mission.
Before ships perfected the skills necessary to replenish at sea, ships had to return to port to re-supply, thus leaving the sea lanes and the remainder of the force unguarded. UNREP allows the U.S. Navy to sustain operations indefinitely and operate anywhere in the world.
Tippecanoe, which was designed to replenish surface combatants, came alongside GW and transferred fuel and supplies while allowing GW's crew to train on the correct way to safely transport supplies by shuttling across empty pallets from ship to ship.
"I think that we all did a good job out here today," said Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Josh Kramer of the deck department. "We do UNREPs often and are trained well on how to do our jobs safely. I believe UNREPs continue to give us the practice and training we need to improve the way we operate together and make sure that our ship gets the supplies that it requires."
The UNREP evolution started before daybreak and lasted up until lunch which meant a long and busy day for GW Sailors.
"It is a lot of work bringing in the supplies. It can take a really long time. But then again, we are operating on an aircraft carrier; we need a lot more supplies on a daily basis than many ships in the fleet because of that fact," said Yeoman Seaman Walter Jackson, Weapons department. "It's just another part of our duty as Sailors to help bring supplies on board that we will need."
George Washington, the Navy's only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier, is currently underway supporting security and stability in the western Pacific Ocean.
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