USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) successfully completed a fueling at sea (FAS) with guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), Aug. 21.
This marked the first time since 2015 an aircraft carrier has successfully fueled another ship.
“It sets the standard for the rest of the fleet,” said Chief Boatswain’s Mate Ryan Parker, leading chief petty officer of deck department aboard Theodore Roosevelt. “We are able to perform this evolution with the rest of the strike group. With the absence of an oiler, we can replenish the other ships.”
Theodore Roosevelt is currently underway conducting composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX). COMPTUEX tests a carrier’s strike group for their ability to perform in situations similar to the ones they will face during deployment. Part of these tests included multiple practice runs, where the aircraft carrier linked fuel hoses with another ship but did not send fuel.
“This is [a] great opportunity to train our personnel and to train the other ships that haven’t connected with a carrier before,” said Parker.
Only three crew members who participated in the FAS have done it before aboard Theodore Roosevelt.
“This is [a] pretty exciting evolution because we rarely ever get to do this,” said Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Tyler J. Aytes. “We’re looking forward to getting more people qualified.”
Aytes participated as a line handler – an individual who works with the crew to heave in lines between the two vessels. Aytes said the FAS went smoothly and the practice refuels attributed to the success of the evolution.
“It’s a huge boost to mission capabilities,” said Aytes. “If we can’t get an oiler out here to refuel one of the guided-missile destroyers, we have the ability to provide them with fuel. We don’t have to worry about ships splitting off, and the strike group can stay together to protect the Theodore Roosevelt and keep the mission going.”
During the FAS, Theodore Roosevelt sent 150,000 gallons of JP-5 jet fuel over to Sampson.
Following the successful completion of COMPTUEX, the TRCSG will conduct worldwide operations in its upcoming deployment.
TRCSG is comprised of Carrier Strike Group 9 staff, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23 staff, Theodore Roosevelt, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, and the DESRON 23 ships USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Preble (DDG 88) and Sampson, as well as guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52).