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120605-N-LQ926-097 PACIFIC OCEAN (June 6, 2012) - Marine Sgt. Kyle Crance (right) and Cpl. John Studsman, assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 Reinforced, observe a refueling-at-sea from the tail of a CH- 46 Sea Knight on the flight deck of amphibious assualt ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5). Peleliu and Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) both receive fuel from Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187). Peleliu is the flagship for the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, underway for amphibious squadron and marine expedetionary unit integrated training in the Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alex Van'tLeven)

Peleliu Takes on Fuel at Sea 
Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael Duran 
PACIFIC OCEAN – Amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) successfully completed a replenishment-at-sea (RAS) with Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187) June 6.

Peleliu took on approximately 500,000 gallons of fuel which will sustain the ship for up to 10 to 14 days steaming at sea.

“The ship is required to maintain a certain percentage of fuel on hand, however during deployments, the ship isn’t always able to pull into ports,” said Chief Boatswain’s Mate Rosa Velasquez, Deck department’s leading chief petty officer.

An oiler provides fuel and cargo supplies to U.S. Navy ships underway conducting operations or training, enabling them to deploy at sea for long periods of time.

“An oiler allows us the capability to replenish underway and focus on accomplishing the mission,” added Velasquez.

RAS is a critical evolution that requires the efforts of many crew members to efficiently and safely complete it. It begins with the engineers from below decks, up to the navigation signals at the top of the super structure.

Peleliu’s deck department is responsible for safely receiving and disengaging the fuel probes when refueling at sea.

“I was overall satisfied with our performance today,” said Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Lemar Williams, rig captain of Peleliu’s RAS station five. “Everyone on station followed directions and nobody got hurt and at the end of the day, that’s what’s most important.”

Refueling alongside was amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) followed shortly after by guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) and amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20).

The Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group is currently underway conducting pre-deployment training evolutions.

The Peleliu ARG consists of amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 46) and amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20). The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit is embarked.
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