EAST CHINA SEA – Sailors assigned to Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) completed a replenishment at sea (RAS) with Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Walter S. Diehl (T-AO 193) on May 26.
During the RAS, McCampbell took on supplies to include food, mail and fuel, which are essential to the ship’s mission and crew’s morale. Conducting a successful RAS evolution allows the ships to remain at sea for extended periods of time, without having to pull into port to refuel or take on cargo.
McCampbell successfully received more than 20 pallets of food and mission essential materials, as well as 190,000 gallons of fuel for the ship and embarked helicopters. The evolution was completed with highlights of the crew’s proficiency, as well as McCampbell’s ability to work along side other ships.
“This was our first RAS since late 2011, and we did better than we thought we were going to do,” said Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate (SW) Junior Ashwood. “We got everything over safely and pumped all the fuel, so it was certainly a successful underway replenishment.”
A RAS is an all-hands evolution, and every Sailor plays an important role. During the evolution, Sailors form a qualified bridge team, including a master helmsman responsible for maneuvering the ship at a close but safe distance from the replenishment ship. Other required duties include safety observers, rig captains, riggers, signalmen and phone talkers.
Every department on the ship provides personnel to act as line handlers. Engineering personnel to test samples of the oncoming fuel and advise the ship when to secure pumping. Gunner’s mates are on station to fire shot lines between the ships. Supply personnel are on hand to move and secure oncoming supplies within the ship. It is an exercise that truly requires the crew to come together and work as one.
“Today’s RAS was very productive and went well because everybody did their job professionally and with dedication, which made the evolution go smoothly,” said Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Gerald Battle.
McCampbell is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and is underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.