Monday, December 07, 2015

Underway Replenishment

While underway, aircraft carriers travel with an armada of support ships. Some of those ships serve as protectors, and some serve as suppliers of food, fuel, and anything else you can possibly imagine. When supplies are transferred from a supply ship to the carrier, the two ships get up close and personal which makes the operation risky, but also provides for great photographic opportunities for guys like me who like to take pictures.

This photograph was taken in 1983 somewhere in the vastness of the  Indian Ocean. That's the USS Coral Sea on the right, and on the left is one of her support partners, the USS Mars.

This operation of transferring supplies from one ship to the other is called underway replenishment, or UNREP. This particular UNREP was done using Chinook helicopters to move the goods from the Mars to the Coral Sea, but sometimes the transfer is done using cables and pulleys. Both are amazing things to watch.