USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- The Sailors from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Patuxent (T-AO 201) worked together to complete a successful replenishment at sea (RAS) on May 12.
Approximately 350 palettes were brought aboard, explained Lt. Steve Osborne, the ship's RAS coordinator. About 200 of those palettes were fresh fruit, vegetables and frozen food.
"We sent off 20 palettes of mail and received about the same amount. The post office was filled with boxes and letters," said Storekeeper 2nd Class Jefferson Whitehead, S-8 Mezzanine's leading petty officer.
Because Truman is close to the end of deployment, most of the items coming aboard are for morale and everyday consumables, not just the mission-essential items, Whitehead noted.
The replenishing ship is chosen by the needs of the Truman and its location in the world. While in the Persian Gulf, Truman often came alongside the fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8).
"Normally, we conduct replenishments at sea with the Arctic, but this time we conducted the RAS with the Patuxent," Osborne said. "The main difference between the two ships is that Patuxent doesn't have its own helo deck, so HS-7 performed the vertical replenishment (VERTREP) portion of the RAS."
"Deployments would be very hard, almost impossible, without constant RAS," said Whitehead. "We would have to pull into port a lot more often, which costs a considerable amount of money.
"Every RAS is important because we have to replenish the supplies like food, fuel, oil, replacement parts for the aircraft and repair parts," Whitehead continued. "We have to have those items to function properly."
Whether performing alongside for a connected replenishment or VERTREP, Sailors on the Truman work as a single, efficient unit to complete the task at hand.
"The whole ship makes the RAS happen," said Osborne. "I thank everyone for their support."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.