Unique MSC Ship Trains to Deliver Fuel

Thursday, July 01, 2010
Offshore petroleum distribution system ship MV Vice Adm. K.R. Wheeler deploys yellow, flexible pipe to the seabed off the coast of Pohang, Republic of Korea, June 23. (U.S. Navy photo by Ed Baxter, Sealift Logistics Command Far East)


 

 The crew of Military Sealift Command (MSC) offshore petroleum distribution system ship MV Vice Adm. K.R. Wheeler trained recently to do something that no other ship in the world can do: pump fuel to shore from a tanker as far as eight miles out to sea. The training took place June 21-26 off the coast of Pohang, Republic of Korea, and gave the ship's crew, operators and shoreside support personnel an opportunity to practice the first and final phases of a complex evolution that allows the unique, MSC-chartered Wheeler to quickly and efficiently deliver fuel to soldiers and Marines operating ashore where port facilities are inadequate or non-existent.

The 349-foot long ship is designed to operate as an at-sea pumping station, receiving fuel pumped to it from a commercial or military tanker at sea, and in turn, pumping that fuel to shore. The exercise provided an opportunity to practice deploying and re-deploying the eight miles of yellow, flexible pipe that Wheeler carries aboard its weatherdeck wrapped around five, 35-ft.-tall spools. No liquid was pumped during the training exercise.

"Our units have never supported Wheeler or a mission like this before," said Navy Lt. Sal Lopez of MSC's Fort Worth, Texas-based Expeditionary Port Unit 113, one of the two MSC Reserve units participating in the exercise.  "This is a great opportunity to train in something completely new." Sailors from EPU 109, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla., also participated.

The first step in getting the pipe to shore was to run a line between Wheeler and the beach that would serve as a guide for the pipe.  Upon arrival June 21, Wheeler's crew launched one of the ship's two, 45-ft. amphibious watercraft, called a LARC, and positioned on the beach to serve as the shoreside anchor for that guiding line. The next day, the line was taken to shore in one of Wheeler's small boats and secured to the LARC's winch. The other end of the line was then secured to the pipe still aboard Wheeler and the LARC used its winch to bring in about 3,000 feet of Wheeler's pipe onto the beach where the pipe was attached to a receiving device called a beach terminal unit that delivers fuel to nearby storage facilities and is stored aboard Wheeler.  Over the next three days, Wheeler steadily deployed its pipe to shore at a rate of approximately 60 feet per minute. At the same time, the ship slowly moved forward at a speed less than one knot as the pipe was deployed to the seabed in about 70-100 feet of water.

By the afternoon of June 24, all eight miles of the pipe had been deployed and Wheeler immediately began to retrieve the pipe. By June 26, the entire pipe was back on board the ship.  In a real world scenario, Wheeler's crew can run the full length of pipe ashore, run a float hose to a tanker and be ready to pump fuel at a rate of about 1,400 gallons per minute - up to 1.7 million gallons in 20 hours.

 

 

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Education/Training

BHP Billiton Commemorates the Anzac Legacy

On the 100th anniversary of the Anzacs’ landing at Gallipoli, BHP Billiton has honoured the contribution of serving Australians and New Zealanders past and present

Salvage and Wreck Removal Conference

HINODE Events and Services Pvt Ltd., have announced the 4th Annual Conference on Salvage and Wreck Removal in India to be held on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at Visakhapatnam on India's East Coast.

IMO Joins UN Climate Change Learning Partnership

The International maritime Oranization (IMO) reports it has joined the United Nations One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn).   IMO now enters

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0928 sec (11 req/sec)