Replenishment At Sea: even Nuclear-powered Aircraft Carriers need fuel and supplies

The following picture shows Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) as it steams aside the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Pecos (T-AO 197) during a replenishment at sea.

Three SH-60 helicopters appear to be flying around the ships carrying supplies delivered on the aircraft carrier’s flight deck by means of a vertical replenishment (VERTREP) operation.

Although they are nuclear powered (hence they do not need “energy supplies” for some 20 years), aircraft carriers have to take on fuel and supplies (including food, mail, etc.) during the RAS (Replenishment At Sea) to “feed” the embarked planes and personnel.

Image credit: U.S. Navy

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.