USNS Guadalupe Refuels USS Frank Cable at Sea
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Josh Cote, USS Frank Cable Public Affairs
The fleet oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200) pulled alongside the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) for a fueling at sea, March 21.
This was the first refueling completed underway by Frank Cable since April 2014. During the fueling, Guadalupe transferred more than 120,000 gallons of fuel to the Frank Cable, ensuring the ship is capable of meeting its ever changing mission requirements.
Capt. Drew St. John, Frank Cable’s commanding officer, said that during the past year, the Navy’s two tenders, Frank Cable and USS Emory S. Land (AS 39), have demonstrated that the submarine tender is a capable platform and can be a force multiplier.
“We do much more than just repair submarines,” said St. John. “Demonstrating the capability to refuel at sea is key in the growing recognition of the utility and flexibility of our submarine tenders. These ships have long had the capability, but it has not been routinely exercised.”
The Navy has been conducting these complex evolutions since World War II. The synchronized evolution has become routine as a primary way the fleet refuels, and Sailors get mail, food, parts and supplies needed to stay on station.
While MSC handles these types of evolutions on Frank Cable, the evolution could not have been done alone. It also took Sailors from Frank Cable’s small boats division doing their job to ensure the evolution went smoothly and safely.
“It was a pretty surreal experience, not only being able to see the fueling at sea, but to be able to take part in it as well,” said Electrician’s Mate Fireman Zachary Young. “I was in charge of raising the restricted maneuvering flag, as well as the prep flag. Just being able to see two big ships riding side by side about 180 yards from each other is a pretty cool thing to witness.”
Frank Cable, en route to Portland, Oregon, for her dry-dock phase maintenance availability, conducts maintenance and supports submarines and surface vessels deployed to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.