How the Navy pumps 1.3 million gallons of fuel into an aircraft carrier without ever pulling into port
- This month, for the first time in two years, the Navy’s new aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford, received fuel during a replenishment at sea.
- Replenishment at sea is one of the most dangerous operations sailors can perform, and its what keeps the carrier operating without having to return to port.
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ATLANTIC OCEAN – USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) conducted a successful replenishment-at-sea (RAS) February 8 marking the ship’s first time receiving fuel from a replenishment ship in more than 24 months.
Ford successfully received more than 1.3 million gallons of fuel, and exercised a solid cargo station, transferring 22 pallets for training from the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195), in less than three hours.
The RAS started off with Ford pulling alongside Grumman. A few moments later, a line was shot from Ford to Grumman to establish communications and connect to the fuel lines. Once completed, the fuel lines were pulled to Ford to begin the fueling process.
“A RAS is what drives and enhances our mission capabilities,” said Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) Joshua Faulds, from Port Washington, Wisconsin, assigned to Ford’s V-4 division. “The primary mission of an aircraft carrier is to fly aircraft, and we need to be able to replenish the jet fuel without having to pull in port.”