Lt. Jacquelyn R. Bengfort, USS Shoup Public Affairs
USS SHOUP, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Shoup (DDG 86) and USS Halsey (DDG 97) refueled with the Canadian oiler HMCS Protecteur (AOR 509) while simultaneously receiving stores by helicopter from USNS Ranier (T-AOE 7) Aug. 5.
The replenishment helped Shoup and Halsey continue with Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group's Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX) off the coast of Southern California.
The ability to refuel with allied naval forces provides a significant advantage while conducting sustained overseas operations. To prepare for the evolution, Shoup conducted an extensive brief with key personnel from the refueling and navigation teams. Understanding the differences between Protecteur and the oilers Shoup usually works with helped make the event nearly seamless.
"One significant difference was how much closer we had to keep the two ships, sometimes as close as 120 feet," said Ens. Lauren McKinley, a native of Troy, N.Y., one of two conning officers who drove the ship during the replenishment. "The conning officers had to keep cool and alert to help keep everyone focused on the task at hand."
"It was a pleasure working with such skilled mariners," said Lt. j.g. Chris Crazy Bull of San Mateo, Calif., Shoup's other conning officer for the exercise. "We hope for the opportunity to work with Protecteur again."
Shoup is currently off the Pacific Coast participating in the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group's COMPTUEX.