By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian Sloan, USS George Washington Public Affairs
EASTERN PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) conducted a record breaking fueling-at-sea (FAS) with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) July 31.
During the evolution, an unprecedented 205,292 gallons of JP-5 was given to Chafee surpassing the previous record of approximately 33,000 gallons delivered by the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) to the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) in 2010.
"The typical amount of fuel passed during a normal evolution is between 5 and 10 thousand gallons," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 William Dinsmore, George Washington's fuels boatswain. "In the past we have proved that we could refuel them [cruisers and destroyers] if we needed to, during this evolution we actually refueled them."
Hundreds of Sailors working for several different departments were required for the FAS to be successful, according to Lt. Cmdr. Reza Chegini, George Washington's 1st lieutenant.
"Operations Department worked scheduling, Navigation worked course and desired location, Engineering ensured that the electrical and auxiliary portions of the systems were ready, Air provided the personnel to operate the pump system to transfer fuel and, of course, Deck provided the qualified personnel to rig and operate the station," said Chegini.
Additionally, Air Department's V-4 division contributed several man-hours in preparation for transferring the JP-5, according to Dinsmore.
"Before we started pumping fuel to the Chafee, we had to ensure our pump rooms were aligned correctly, so we walked the entire system and verified all the individual valves were in the correct position," said Dinsmore.
Furthermore, George Washington overcame unique challenges during the evolution.
"The major challenge to this evolution was getting the JP-5 from our forward-most service tanks to the one farthest aft," said Dinsmore. "Normally, we would use our aft pump room, which would greatly reduce the distance the fuel had to travel, but we had to use our forward pump room because of the amount of fuel the Chafee requested."
According to Chegini, George Washington's performance is a testament to the ship's capabilities.
"The mishap-free execution of this event is a direct reflection of the level of professionalism displayed daily by George Washington's crew as they remain mindful of the fact that we are the United States Navy - our Nation's sea power, ready guardians of peace, victorious in war," said Chegini.
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, are en route to conduct a hull-swap with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) after serving seven years as the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan.