US Navy Oiler, Commercial Tanker Exchange Skills

Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet replenishment oiler USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO-199) completed a fueling evolution at-sea with the U.S. flagged tanker Maersk Peary in international waters off the coast of Sasebo, Japan, Oct. 22.

The four-day training event was just the second time in the last 15 years that a U.S. Navy tanker conducted fueling operations at-sea with a commercial vessel.

Capt. Philippe Grandjean, assistant chief of staff for logistics (N4) for Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific (COMLOG WESTPAC), said:

Typically MSC oilers like Tippecanoe are required to dock pier-side at one of the Navy’s Defense 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.

Distributed logistics provide flexibility for the U.S. 7th Fleet, which operates in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region; an area of 48 million square miles.

The refueling between Tippecanoe and Maersk Peary marked an important step in increasing proficiency with at-sea fuel consolidation operation between tankers.

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Image: US Navy

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