FUEL STREAM TRANSFER STATIONS
Information Sheet 1.13
Fueling-at-sea (FAS) operations are critical to maintain a highly mobile fleet. As the First Lieutenant, you must understand FAS operations and equipment to ensure safe and efficient fuel transfer.
(a) NWP 4-01.4 (Replenishment At Sea)
(b) Underway Replenishment Hardware And Equipment Manual
A. FUEL STREAM TRANSFER EQUIPMENT (Chapter 3 of reference (a))
1. Spanwire winch - Just as the tensioned highline is used to support the trolley when transferring dry cargo and missiles, the tensioned spanwire is used to support transfer hoses when transferring fuel. The spanwire is lengthened and shortened by the spanwire winch. The spanwire winch permits the rig to extend from 140 feet to 180 feet. This distance is necessary for a safe transfer and makes it fairly easy to maneuver to maintain station.
2. Ram tensioner - The hydraulic ram tensioner is used to maintain tension on the spanwire. It consists of a ram cylinder, accumulator cylinder, air flasks, and an indicating assembly. The spanwire is fairled from the boom or kingpost to blocks mounted on the ram and the ram cylinder, and then to the winch. Air from the flasks maintains pressure on a piston in the accumulator cylinder, and this pressure is hydraulically transmitted to the ram. Thus, as the tension in the spanwire is relaxed, the pressure in the system causes the ram to extend, taking up the slack in the spanwire. Conversely, as tension increases, air is forced back into flasks. A small wire cable transmits ram motion to the indicator dial. One pound of air pressure on the accumulator causes about ten pounds of line pull on the spanwire. Thus, 900 psi in the air flasks maintains a tension of about 9,000 pounds on the spanwire.
3. Saddle winches - The saddle winches control the wire saddle whips which control saddles for the delivery of fuel. Each winch has an appropriate saddle whip.
B. LIMITATIONS AND SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR FAS EQUIPMENT
1. Spanwire winch/ram tensioner - Located on the delivery ship. The ram tensioner automatically compensates for the slackening and tensioning of the spanwire or highline, due to changes in the ship's motion (i.e., roll) or when transferring heavier, palletized loads or missiles.
a. All fueling-at-sea attachment points for spanwire (tensioned or untensioned) are for 36,000 pounds.
2. Saddle winches - Located on the deck of the delivery ship. Saddle winches are used to control the height of the saddles. The saddles should be adjusted to ensure that the hose is kept out of the water.
3. FAS master control station - Located on the delivery ship and is used to control all aspects of the re-fueling operation.
C. RIGGING PROCEDURES FOR STREAM SINGLE HOSE RIGS
1. In the STREAM/FAS rig, the hose is supported between two ships on a ram tensioned spanwire. The STREAM rig shall be rigged with wire for all saddle whips whenever winches can be made available.
Figure 1.13-1 Fuel STREAM Single Hose Rig
2. Rig passing procedures for all single hose-rigs are basically the same. The probe has automatic connect and disconnect features. All other couplings must be manually connected and disconnected and require a riding line to retain the hose at the receiving station.
3. Preparing Fuel STREAM with Single Probe
a. Delivery Ship
(1) Fake out the STAR messenger and attach the inboard end to the trolley carriage.
Figure 1.13-2 Fuel STREAM Rig with Probe
(a) When sending single probe to a single-probe receiver, the 60 foot (18.2 m) releasing line section of the STAR messenger will be used by the receiving station as the remating line. A remating line is used to reseat the probe if it becomes disengaged.
(b) When sending single probe to double-probe receivers, use the STAR messenger without the 60 foot (18.2 m) releasing line section and attach it to the special inhaul clamp using a 5/8 inch (15.8 mm) screw pin anchor shackle or the pip-pin (if provided) on the trolley carriage.
(2) Stop off the spanwire to the messenger 350 feet (106.5 m) from the inboard (shackled) end of the messenger.
(3) Fake out and attach the lead line for the station phone line and the lead line messenger for the phone/distance line to the messenger (as required).
(4) Secure the 6 foot (1.8 m) tail of the station phone line to a cleat at the bulwark.
(5) Fake out the messenger return line and attach the end with the brummel hook to the messenger return line pendant around the probe tube at the trolley carriage.
(6) Ensure that all probe latches are latched.
(7) Ensure that all necessary rigging, working and repair tools, and safety equipment are on station and that personnel are briefed, properly dressed, and on station.
b. Receiving Ship
(1) Install a 12 inch (30.5 cm) wood or metal messenger fairlead block.
(2) Install deck fairlead snatch blocks (as necessary) and prereeve small stuff for the messenger lead. Riding lines are not to be used with a probe rig.
(3) Remove the cover from the probe receiver and verify that the seal in the bell housing is not damaged and is lubricated.
(4) Provide an easing-out line on station for the spanwire.
(5) Ensure that all necessary rigging, working and repair tools, and safety equipment are on station and that personnel are briefed, properly dressed, and on station.
(6) A probe breakaway tool may be provided as an alternate means of tripping the pelican hook.
Note: A remating line must be provided on station when receiving at double-probe receivers. Provide a short strap and a long strap.
4. Passing Fuel STREAM with Single Probe - A receiving ship that has aircraft on deck (CVs, LHAs, etc.) will provide all shot lines and bolos. When the receiving ship provides an individual shot line for a remotely located phone/distance line, it attaches the lead line messenger to the zero end of the phone/distance line and then to the shot line. The delivery ship hauls over the line. When the delivery ship provides an individual shot line for a remotely located phone/distance line, it passes the shot line with the lead line messenger for the phone/distance line attached. When the lead line messenger is received on board, the receiving ship disconnects the lead line messenger, attaches it to light line at the zero end of the phone/distance line, and signals the delivery ship to haul in.
(1) Position the numbers 1, 2, and 3 saddle trolleys for smooth fairleading of the spanwire.
(2) Send over the shot line and attach it to the messenger.
b. Receiving Ship
(1) Receive the shot line and haul in. When the bitter end of the messenger comes aboard, attach it to the pre-reeved small stuff and continue to haul in the messenger through the rigging and fairlead blocks.
(2) When the lead line for the station phone line and the lead line messenger for the phone/distance line are received on board, disconnect them and move them clear of the area.
(3) Attach the lead line messenger for the phone/distance line to the phone/distance line and signal the delivery station to haul in.
(4) Haul in the station phone line and hand tend.
c. Both Ships
(1) Connect the station phone line headsets, establish voice communications, and advise the rig captain: "We have station-to-station phone communications."
d. Delivery Ship
(1) Haul in the lead line messenger for the phone/distance line. When the zero end of the phone/distance line is aboard, attach it to the outermost rail, clear of the transfer station.
Warning: The approach ship shall hand-tend the B/B (Bridge to Bridge) phone/distance line. The B/B phone/distance line shall be maintained free for running (coiled or faked) and shall never be secured to the approach ship's structure. Personnel must keep inboard of all lines and exercise extreme caution and alertness to potential danger.
(2) Connect the phone/distance line headset, establish voice communications, and advise the bridge: "We have bridge-to-bridge phone communications."
(3) Ensure that the spanwire's Anti-Slack Device (ASD) is turned ON, or that slack is pulled from the spanwire through the ram tensioner to prevent fouling of the spanwire winch drum.
e. Receiving Ship
(1) Continue to haul in the messenger.
Note: Before attaching the spanwire to the pelican hook, make sure that the messenger is not twisted with the spanwire. If twisted, the probe will not seat in the receiver.
(2) Remove any twists of the messenger around the spanwire and attach the spanwire end fitting to the pelican hook on the swivel arm assembly. Use the correct cotter pin.
Caution: When attaching the special link of the alternate spanwire end fitting to the pelican hook, make sure that the eye of the screw pin on the anchor shackle is on top; otherwise, the probe will not seat.
(3) Install the easing-out line on the spanwire end fitting and secure.
(4) Slack the messenger to allow the pelican hook to take the strain of the spanwire, then cut the stops that hold the spanwire to the messenger.
(5) Clear personnel from the immediate area.
f. Both Ships
(1) The receiving station's phone talker will notify both the bridge and the delivery station: "Ready to tension spanwire at station ___." This alerts the bridge that tension will be applied shortly. No response is required from the bridge, unless it is negative.
(2) The delivery station's phone talker will inform the bridge: "We are tensioning the spanwire at station ___." At the same time, the rig captain instructs the winch operator to tension the spanwire. When the spanwire is tensioned, the ASD, if installed, should be turned off until the rig is to be detensioned. No response is required from the bridge, unless it is negative.
(3) To complete the communication loop, the delivery ship's bridge shall immediately notify the receiving ship's bridge: "We are tensioning the spanwire at my station ___."
(4) If either ship's bridge determines that it wants to delay tensioning the spanwire after it has received word that the stations are ready, both ships' bridges and the delivery station shall be notified immediately. The delivery ship's bridge shall immediately pass the word to the delivery station: "Do not tension at station ___." The rig captain shall immediately instruct the winch operator to stop tensioning, slacken, and tend the spanwire.
g. Receiving Ship
(1) Haul in on the messenger when the probe gets near the receiver; haul in the probe until it seats in the receiver. When the probe snaps in, the receiver latch indicator flags will raise. This indicates that the probe is engaged in the receiver.
(2) Once the probe is properly engaged, disconnect the STAR messenger at the brummel hooks. Leave the 60 foot (18.2 m) releasing line attached to the trolley carriage for use as the remating line, secure the brummel hook end of this section to a cleat, and coil down the remaining length. Do not take a strain on the remating line. The remating line is used to reseat the probe in the receiver should the probe disengage. A remating line under tension while the probe is seated may damage the probe's latching mechanisms and will allow fuel to spray if the probe unlatches inadvertently.
Warning: All excess remating line must be coiled down between the probe fairlead block and the cleat.
(3) Stand clear of the rig.
(4) Signal the delivery station: "Start pumping."
h. Delivery Ship
(1) Advise the bridge and cargo control: "Station ___ ready to start pumping."
(2) Commence pumping fuel.
i. Receiving Ship
(1) After fuel transfer has started, disconnect the messenger return line from the messenger return line pendant and connect it to the brummel hook on the long section of the STAR messenger.
(2) Signal the delivery station to haul in the messenger return line.
5. Operating Fuel STREAM with Single Probe
a. Delivery Ship
(1) The saddle winch operator positions all saddles for a smooth flow of fuel through the hose and tends the saddles. The retrieving saddle whip (No. 1) shall be slacked during fueling operations to prevent an excessive load at the receiving station's fuel connection. The outboard saddle winch (No. 2) is tended to keep the hose bights out of the water, prevent kinking of the hose at the receiving station's fuel connection, and prevent excess strain on the hose or stress wires.
(2) Haul in and coil down the messenger return line and messenger.
6. Retrieving Fuel STREAM with Single Probe
a. Delivery Ship
(1) Stop pumping.
(2) Complete the blowdown or back suction and secure all valves.
b. Both Ships
(1) Signalmen signal: "Replenishment completed at this station. Commence unrigging."
c. Receiving Ship
(1) Remove the 60 foot (18.2 m) releasing line from cleats, fairlead blocks, and all obstructions; and with small line (6-thread or marlin), tie the releasing line off to the probe prior to signaling the delivery ship to heave around. Leave the releasing line attached to the trolley carriage.
Note: At a double-probe receiver, disconnect the remating line.
(2) When advised by the delivery station's phone talker, operate the manual release lever on the receiver to release the probe. Signal the delivery station to haul in the hose.
d. Delivery Ship
(1) Haul in on the saddle whips to retrieve the hose.
e. Both Ships
(1) Procedures for detensioning the spanwire are as follows:
(a) The receiving station's phone talker will notify both the bridge and the delivery station: "Ready to detension spanwire at station ___." This alerts the bridge that the spanwire will be detensioned shortly. No response is required from the bridge, unless it is negative.
(b) When the message is received at the delivery station, the phone talker there informs the bridge: "We are detensioning the spanwire at station ___." At the same time, the rig captain instructs the winch operator to turn on the ASD, if installed, and pay out on the spanwire, allowing the ram tensioner to extend and slacken the spanwire. No response is required from the bridge, unless it is negative.
(c) To complete the communication loop, the delivery ship's bridge shall immediately notify the receiving ship's bridge: "We are detensioning the spanwire at my station ___."
(d) If the receiving ship's bridge determines that it does not want to detension the spanwire anytime after it has received word that the receiving station is ready, both the delivery ship's bridge and the receiving station shall be notified immediately. The delivery ship's bridge shall immediately pass the word to the delivery station: "Do not detension the spanwire at station ___." The rig captain shall immediately instruct the winch operator to stop detensioning the spanwire.
f. Delivery Ship
(1) Slack the spanwire and tend slack, clear of the water.
Warning: The receiving station must not trip the pelican hook until the spanwire is slack and the signal has been given by the delivery station.
g. Receiving Ship
(1) Haul in on the easing-out line to take the strain off the pelican hook. The station phone talker advises the delivery station: "Ready to trip the pelican hook."
(2) On signal from the delivery station, trip the pelican hook.
(3) Ease the spanwire clear of the deck edge and release the easing-out line.
(4) Signal the delivery station to haul in the spanwire and station phone line.
h. Delivery Ship
(1) Haul in the spanwire and station phone line.
(2) Disconnect the phone/distance line.
i. Receiving ship
(1) Haul in the phone/distance line.
7. Emergency Breakaway for Fuel STREAM with Single Probe. Emergency breakaway is an accelerated normal breakaway using the procedures described in the preceding paragraph. The following procedures also apply:
a. Permission from the bridge to detension wires is not required.
b. Use emergency breakaway signals.
c. Clear station of all nonessential personnel.
d. Stop pumping immediately.
e. Clear the line used for remating, release the rig, and start retrieving all hoses.
f. Detension the spanwire and when the spanwire is slack, trip the pelican hook.
g. If unable to disconnect the spanwire, continue to pay out until all wire is free of the drum.
Warning: Never cut a tensioned wire.
Caution: Cutting of wires or lines during emergency breakaway should be exercised only as a last resort. A last resort situation generally is one of the following:
(1) imminent danger to the ship's structure because of fouled wire or
(2) imminent danger to ship's personnel.
D. LIMITATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF SINGLE HOSE STREAM/FAS RIGS
1. Hose lengths are joined together by re-attachable couplings and clamps.
2. The preferred STREAM rig is with the probe to a single or double receiver.
3. The receiving station hooks the fuel hose to its fuel connection and the rig is ready for fuel transfer.
4. Once a hose has been used for one product then the hose must be dedicated to that product.
5. The double hose rig has the capability of passing more fuel in a shorter time.
6. The single rig can be fitted to more couplings than the double rig (i.e., the single rig can be connected to either a single or a double coupling).
E. DESCRIPTIONS OF THE FOLLOWING FAS TRANSFER HARDWARE IAW NWP 4-01.4
1. Wire - shall be type 1, general purpose, class 3, independent wire core, extra improved plow steel, in accordance with federal spec. RR-W-410.
a. Spanwire - 3/4-inch wire for single hose rigs and 7/8 - inch for double hose rigs. Length is 600 feet for the conventional (non-tensioned) spanwire rig and 800 feet for the Fuel STREAM rig. The bitter end is fitted with a feige type end fitting that can accept a spanwire link end fitting (preferred) or an eye socket end fitting.
Figure 1.13-3 Flow Through Saddle
b. Saddle whip - Outboard - For fuel STREAM and spanwire rigs, the outboard saddle whip (also called the retrieving line) is 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch wire 450 - 800 feet long (dependent on individual ship installation). Saddle whips 2, 3, and 4 - 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch wire, 450 feet long minimum (dependent on individual ships installation). The bitter end is made up with a spliced or swaged thimble eye.
2. Saddles - consists of an aluminum casting with a female split clamp fitting on one end and a male split clamp fitting on the other.
a. Type A - has a broad web with three attachment holes on top and a web with one hole on the bottom. It is used with single hose rigs and the lower hose of double rig and is 19" long.
b. Type B - is 32 in. long and has a broad web with three attachment holes on top and a web with three holes on the bottom. It is used on the upper hose of the double rig.
3. Spanwire end fitting - a weak link end fitting is preferred. The spanwire end fitting attaches the spanwire to the pelican hook on the swivel assembly.
a. The eye socket spanwire end fittings are used with a 5/8 inch or 3/4 inch screw pin anchor shackle and a standard 1 inch pelican hook to secure the spanwire to the receiving ship's long link during fueling with the spanwire rig when FAS weak links are not available.
b. The spanwire weak link end fitting is used to secure the end of the spanwire to the pelican hook on the receiving ship’s probe receiver. The weak link is designed to fail before a tight line condition could part the spanwire.
Figure 1.13-4 Saddle Arrangement
4. Probe/double probe - used to transfer fuel by coupling into the probe receiver.
a. The Single Probe Assembly consists of 3 major components - the probe, probe tube, and the trolley assembly. The probe is the major component of the three. Its assembly includes six spring loaded lock arms. The trigger locking mechanisms lock the probe in the receiver. The probe also includes a spring loaded sliding sleeve valve which is actuated as the probe is mated and allows the transfer of fuel. The nose of the probe is tapered and provides self aligning features. The next component, the probe tube, is an aluminum tube. One end is configured to connect to the probe by means of a split clamp. The other end is configured to connect to the FAS split clamp hose coupling again by use of a split clamp. Three grooves in the tube provide clamping areas for either the single or double probe trolley assemblies. The final component, the trolley assembly, is clamped to two grooves of the probe tube. Its assembly includes four sheaves fitted with permanently lubricated bronze bushings, which allow the probe to travel freely along the spanwire yet hold the probe in alignment with the spanwire. The upper portion of the trolley assembly may be hinged open to insert the spanwire between the upper and lower sheaves. Once the spanwire is inserted the upper portion is secured shut with two lock pins which in turn are secured with cotter pins. The trolley assembly also includes padeyes for attaching the remating line hook and stress wire.
b. The Double Probe Assembly consists of 3 major components: the probes, probe tubes, and trolley assembly. The probes and probe tubes are identical to the single probe assembly. The trolley assembly is clamped to the two outer grooves of the probe tubes. Its upper part, containing the four sheaves, is similar to the one used in the single probe assembly. The upper probe is clamped in a fixed position in the assembly while the lower probe is clamped in a cradle-like assembly with a sliding mechanism. During engagement, the sliding mechanism permits the lower probe to be aligned first with the lower double probe receiver. The lower probe then slides back until the upper probe is engaged in the receiver. Engagement of the lower probe follows the engagement of the upper probe. When fueling to a single probe receiver, the lower probe shall be retracted and locked in the trolley assembly to permit fueling with the upper probe. There are two points of attachment for the fueling at sea messenger. The one for the double probe inhaul is located between the upper and lower probes in the trolley assembly and is used when fueling to a double probe receiver. The other point located on the trolley sheave assembly is used when fueling to single receiver with the double probe.
Figure 1.13-5 Double Probe with Receiver Setup
5. ROBB Coupling and NATO Breakable Spool
a. ROBB Coupling - A combined quick release coupling and valve consists of a male end attached to the fueling manifold on the receiving ship and a female end secured to the end of the hose sent over by the delivery ship. The male end is bronze, slightly tapered tube with a machined groove at the connection end. The female fitting has a spring loaded valve and spring tensioned sleeve with a ball race, which is forced by the in the sleeve into the groove on the male end. Once in place, a lever operated cam will place tension on the spring in the female end opening the valve for the fuel transfer.
b. NATO Breakable Spool - A quick release coupling used when fueling NATO ships and MSC ships that are not equipped with the probe receiver.
6. Re-latching tool - Designed to provide a rapid means of latching the probe's six lock arms simultaneously.
Figure 1.13-7 NATO Breakable Spool
7. Sleeve retractor - Consists of a handle which when lowered moves the ring of the sleeve retractor tube to open the valve in the nose of the probe. The half ring engages the rear of the probe and is connected to the handle by means of the link.
a. The sleeve retractor is used for draining fuel from the rig with probe installed, for conducting the pre-operational inspection of the sleeve valve, or for retracting the sleeve valve to provide access in replacement of probe nose seal.
8. Shackles - The special fueling-at-sea shackle is a galvanized forged steel safety chain shackle with the throat opening of a 7/8 inch shackle but with the elongated body of a 1/2 inch shackle. The throat opening and bolt are sized to fit the web of the flow-through riding line fitting. The body is
sized to accept a 1/2-inch pelican hook and is elongated so that the pelican hook will freely clear when it is tripped.
a. Required to connect a riding line fitting to its supporting hardware.
9. Hoses - The size of hose will depend on the transfer needed. The transfer hoses are lightweight and non-rigid and have five types.
a. The hose consists of a hose body with an inner tube of synthetic rubber or compounds utilizing copolymer product of butadiene and acrylic nitrile as the basic material. The fabric reinforcement is nylon or polyethylene glycolterephthalate and the cover is oil and abrasion free synthetic rubber. The standard unit of issue for the 7-inch and 6-inch hose is 35 feet. The standard unit of issue for the 4-inch hose is 30 feet. Hose may be cut to suit length of installation.
b. The hose consists of a hose body with an inner tube in accordance with MIL-H-22240 Type C. The standard unit of issue is 35 feet. Hose may be cut to suit length of installation. Hose end couplings are in accordance with MIL-C-24356.
10. Hose fittings - The riding line fittings for the 2 1/2 ", 4 ", 6", and 7" hoses are flow through design.
11. Messenger/return messenger
a. Messenger - the mainline used to assist in hauling the spanwire and fuel rig between two ships.
c. The FAS/RAS messenger is an 800 foot graduated line made up of either 200 feet of 1-1/2 inch nylon and 600 feet of 3 inch nylon or 100 feet of 12 thread manila, 100 feet of 21 thread manila, 100 feet of 2-1/4 inch manila and 500 feet of 3 inch manila. A spliced eye with a snap hook forms the bitter end of the 1-1/2 inch nylon or 12 thread manila outboard end of the messenger. A spliced soft eye forms the bitter end of the 3 inch inboard portion. Five 12 thread beckets are spliced into the messenger 200, 201, and 202 feet from the outboard end and 350 and 351 feet from the inboard end.
F. SAFETY PRECAUTIONS OBSERVED WHILE RIGGING STREAM/FAS IAW NWP 4-01.4
1. Personnel handling fuel must be aware of the constant danger of fire and explosion. They shall be thoroughly trained in the use of fire fighting equipment.
2. Cigarette lighters and safety matches are permitted only in authorized smoking areas.
3. During fuel transfer the smoking lamp is out except in authorized areas.
4. Necessary protective and fire fighting equipment must be kept on hand during the transfer.
5. All hands must be indoctrinated in the requirements for emergency breakaway.
a. Check the use of a wire clip to secure the spanwire and saddle whips to the winch drums.
b. Check the spanwire weak link end fitting.
6. Section 2.10 of reference (a) contains information of UNREP safety precautions and procedures.