USNS Mercy and USNS Pecos replenish at sea during Pacific Partnership 2015

PHILIPPINE SEA – (July 22, 2015) The hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH19) received replenishment-at-sea (RAS) from Military Sealift Command’s fleet oiler USNC Pecos (T-AO 197) July 17 enabling the Mercy to continue its mission in Pacific Partnership 2015.

A RAS is an evolution performed by naval ships every 10 to 14 days they are out to sea. It is necessary for the ship to have proper food, supplies, and fuel to stay at sea for extended periods of time.

“I had taken a short video of the (vertical replenishment) portion of the RAS and titled it as ‘fresh groceries, once a month’ and this is what these events are to me, kind of like stopping at the 7-11 for groceries and gas,” said Randy Stambaugh, a civilian mariner on the Mercy. “Another thing is it’s also always nice to see another MSC ship. This one, the Pecos, was looking really nicely maintained and it brought back memories of my good times working on an oiler.”

A vertical replenishment is the transfer of goods from one vessel to another by helicopter.

USNS Mercy and USNS Pecos replenish at sea during Pacific Partnership 2015

USNS Mercy and USNS Pecos replenish at sea during Pacific Partnership 2015

USNS Mercy and USNS Pecos replenish at sea during Pacific Partnership 2015

The Mercy just completed a 14-day mission at Papua New Guinea July 10 after working with host nation military, government and healthcare professionals and community leaders to improve disaster relief response capabilities in the region. She is now in Roxas City, Philippines and the RAS assisted the Mercy in continuing the mission for Pacific Partnership 2015.

Pacific Partnership began in response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters, the December 2004 tsunami that devastated parts of Southeast Asia. Along with other nations, the United States swiftly responded to this unprecedented tragedy. U.S. Navy assets, including the hospital ship USNS Mercy, were deployed to provide humanitarian aid. Seeing the benefit of planning and preparation to quickly respond to natural disasters, U.S. Pacific Fleet sent Mercy back to the region for the first Pacific Partnership mission in 2006. Since then, Pacific Partnership has expanded using a multilateral approach to include partner nation militaries and non-government organizations.

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