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Essex Completes Fueling at Sea Certification

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS060124-15
Release Date: 1/24/2006 5:09:00 PM

By Chief Journalist (SW/AW) Christina Johnson, USS Essex Public Affairs

USS ESSEX, At sea (NNS) -- USS Essex (LHD 2) successfully completed its certification for fueling at sea (FAS) with a new fueling rig during an early evening underway evolution with USS Fort McHenry (LPD 43) Jan 21.

Essex, commanded by Capt. Martin J. Keaney, was retrofitted with the new fueling rig, called a ?King Post,’ during the ship’s 2005 Selected Restricted Availability. The final touches to the installation were completed in December during the winter maintenance availability period.

The addition of the fueling station to the ship is as important to Essex as it is to the other Forward Deployed Naval Forces assets, explained Chief Boatswain's Mate (SW/AW) Derick Henry.

“Being a part of an expeditionary strike group, or the current amphibious ready group (ARG), it’s critical to have the capability to provide fuel to the escort ships,” said Henry. “The escort ships won’t have to leave their area of operation to receive fuel, which means they can continuously stay on station to fulfill their mission.”

Fort McHenry, one of the ships assigned to the Sasebo, Japan-based (ARG), assisted Essex with the qualification process by receiving fuel.

“USS Fort McHenry’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Talaga, and his crew did a great job helping us get certified,” said Keaney. “Essex' FAS capability is certified and systems operational test complete for day and night fueling evolutions.”

Essex is the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious assault ship and the flagship for the Forward Deployed Amphibious Ready Group.

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