By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class William Pittman
SOUTH CHINA SEA – The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) conducted a replenishment-at-sea (RAS) with the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3), Oct. 5.
George Washington received more than 200 pallets of supplies during the RAS, allowing the flagship of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group to continue its mission of providing a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and our partners and allies in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The ability to replenish our supplies while at sea allows us to keep an at sea forward presence,” said Cmdr. Sean Egge, George Washington’s supply officer. “We can sustain underway operations for an extended period of time because of this capability.”
George Washington also offloaded several pallets, including supplies designated for the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48), which has been independently steaming in the 7th Fleet area of operations.
Helicopters attached to the ‘Chargers’ of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 14 delivered pallets of supplies from Alan Shepard to George Washington via vertical replenishment.
“We have a system, where nearby ships can send a message to all U.S. forces close by asking for a particular material,” said Egge. “We had the needed supplies and we were the closest ship, so we gave it to Vandegrift. ”
Ships and aircraft of the George Washington and John C. Stennis carrier strike groups are currently exercising to hone their collective interoperability, readiness, and the capability to respond quickly to potential crises in the region, ranging from combat operations to humanitarian assistance missions. As two of the Navy’s 11 global force carrier strike groups, the strike groups are further ensuring security, stability and peace in the vital Asia-Pacific region.
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