MSC Ships USNS Rainier and MT Empire State Conduct CONSOL-at-Sea During RIMPAC 2016

Military Sealift Command ships continue to demonstrate their wide platform of capabilities during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016 maritime exercise, as USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7) and M/T Empire State (T-AOT 5193) conducted a fuel consolidation (CONSOL) at sea, off the coast of Hawaii, Sunday, July 17.

DSC_0762

During the course of the operation, 1 million gallons of fuel were transferred from Empire State to Rainier through a fuel hose connection. The operation demonstrates the renewed capability of refueling MSC’s fleet replenishment oiler ships via tanker ships at sea instead of commercial fuel piers.  The ability of an oiler to receive bulk cargo fuel at sea, from a tanker ship, gives MSC flexibility in obtaining products needed by Navy customers quickly and efficiently. Throughout 2016, MSC’s ships in the Pacific Area of Operations have exercised CONSOLs between tanker ships and fleet replenishment oilers.

In early April, USNS Yukon (T-AO 202) and Empire State made history as they conducted the first underway replenishment between a State Class tanker ship and an MSC.  On that day, Yukon received ten thousand gallons of fuel from Empire State, following two days of practice CONSOLs. “It’s great to see this option for fuel replenishment coming back into our toolbox, “said Tim McCully, Military Sealift Command Pacific’s deputy commander.  “Being able to demonstrate it at a multination exercise like RIMPAC provides MSC with a world-wide audience who can better understand the diverse and hugely flexible platform of mission capabilities that MSC possesses.”

DSC_0779

Six MSC ships, as well as MSC reservists from Military Sealift Command Pacific’s Headquarters Unit, MSCPAC’s Hawaii Detachment, and Expeditionary Port Unit 114, are supporting RIMPAC 2016.

RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise.  Held bi-annually, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.  RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971

Twenty-seven nations, 45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial RIMPAC exercise that will run through Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

About sburford