USNS Navy Oil Supply Ships
Early Navy Oil Supply Ships were civilian ships converted to transport fuel to refuel the ships at sea. The designation of USNS signifies that the oil supply ship is being operated by a civilian crew and operating under the Military Sealift Command.
The first fleet oilers had a hull
designation of AO, and are still in use.
NEOSHO Class Fleet Oiler Ships
The Neosho class of fleet oiler ships was the first oilers built for the US Navy after WWII. The Neosho were the first fleet oilers to be designated for underway replenishment. The Neosho class were large oiler ships that could carry 180000 barrels of fuel.
Cimarron Class Fleet Oiler Ships
The Cimarron Class of fleet oiler ships was commissioned in the 1980s to replace the older oiler ships. Due to budget restrictions, these ships were constructed smaller than needed, later were reworked to be larger ships. In the late 1990s the Cimarron class oiler ships were replaced with the Henry J. Kaiser class oiler ships that were diesel powered.
Henry J. Kaiser Class Diesel Powered Oil Supply Ships
The Henry J. Kaiser class of replenishment oiler ships was created to do underway replenishment of fuel for US Navy combat ships and carried jet fuel for aircraft and helicopters. This allowed the Henry J. Kaiser class to service the aircraft carriers and surface combat ships. The Henry J. Kaiser ships were limited capacity for ammunition, dry stores supplies, and refrigerated stores.
Fast Combat Support Ships
The Sacramento Class was made up of 4 fast combat support ships that carried out refueling, rearming, and resupplying for the warships of the US Navy. They were especially great with aircraft carrier task forces which are fast moving groups of warships. The Sacramento class was built with one-half each the steam propulsion turbine plants from the unfinished Iowa-class battleships the Illinois and the Kentucky. This strong power trains gave them fast speeds to keep up with the fast ships they served. The Sacramento class was the largest of the US Navy Oilers. The fast supply ships combined the functions of the AO fleet oiler, the AE Ammunition ship, and the AF refrigerator ship.
Supply Class Replenishment Ships
The Supply Class replenishment ships replaced the Sacramento class. The Supply class were operated by the Military Sealift Command.
Fleet Replenishment Oiler Ships
The Wichita Class AOR's of Fleet Replenishment Oiler Ships were similar but smaller than the AOE's though faster and larger then the Neoshos. They were designed for fast underway replenishment, using both connected replenishments, and vertical replenishments, where a helicopter transfers the supplies from ship to ship.
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