USS Harry S. Truman Conducts RAS with USNS Arctic

Story Number: NNS080211-17Release Date: 2/11/2008 2:52:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman James Fallon, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS HARRY S TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) received fresh fruits and vegetables and a million-and-a-half gallons of fuel from fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), Feb. 8, while conducting a replenishment at sea (RAS).

Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (SW/AW) Sharrod Bobo said the RAS is a ship-wide evolution, but it is the Deck Department that takes care of all the rigging and receiving of all the fueling hoses.

"The RAS went pretty well," said Bobo. "All the guys are well trained and have all their qualifications, and they had their heads on a swivel."

Before and during a RAS, safety is paramount; Seaman (SW) Nicholas Bacoka said they always do a safety brief before the evolution.

"During the evolution, we have khakis [monitoring] the stations looking for things that could be potentially dangerous, like pant legs not tucked in, rings or watches not taken off and anything that could potentially get caught up in a line," said Bacoka. "Everybody plays a role and everybody is a safety observer during a RAS."

He said because a RAS is a dangerous job, the attention to safety is constantly scrutinized because equipment could be damaged and lives could be lost.

"You could have the span wire part and if that wire was to part, it would snap back in both directions," Bacoka said. "When that snaps back, fuel would go all over the place. You could have part of your station ripped out, or if somebody were to get hit by a snap back, they would be done."

Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Roger Silva, the rig captain under instruction, said it is his job to make sure that doesn't happen.

"I like being a rig captain because you have more responsibility, you have to look after your guys and make sure they are safe," Silva said.

Bacoka shares the same sentiments as Silva and said what he likes best about the RAS is bringing the rig over.

"When the rig initially comes over, the heave is not very fun but it's exciting," Bacoka said. "It gets your heart rate going. It's me doing my thing. You are heaving the line, leaning over the side of the ship and it's a little dangerous."

Bobo said the Deck Department stresses safety all day every day. He said the boatswain's mates' rate is very safety oriented because of its inherent dangers. Everything they do, someone else did it before them, and some may have gotten hurt doing it. They learned safety through others' sacrifices.

"That's why we always look for better and safer ways to get the job done," Bobo said.

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The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), left, performs a replenishment at sea
080123-N-0535P-580 PERSIAN GULF (Jan. 23, 2008) The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), left, performs a replenishment at sea with the Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81). Truman and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 are on a scheduled deployment in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and maritime security operations. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jay C. Pugh (Released)
January 25, 2008
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