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Press Release

MSC PAO 97-11
March 4, 1997
For more information, contact:
Marge Holtz or Steve Rosa
(202) 685-5055

Kaiser the oiler: Saving money for the Navy's Tandem Thrust

Saving money is the name of the game with one of Military Sealift Command's longest running fuel supply ships. USNS Henry J. Kaiser, an underway replenishment oiler acting as a tanker for the last two years, is back on the high seas--operating again as an oiler and saving the U.S. Navy more than $1.5 million in fuel and operational costs.

Kaiser is participating in the U.S. and Australian combined military exercise, Tandem Thrust '97. Tandem Thrust includes more than 28,170 troops, 252 aircraft and 43 ships that are training U.S. 7th Fleet and Australian Defense Force staffs in crisis action planning and contingency response operations. The exercise began officially March 1 and continues through March 22.

Kaiser's large cost savings results from resupplying ships with fuel while they are at sea. Refueling at sea avoids ships from the Kitty Hawk battle group and the Essex amphibious ready group having to return to port and buying fuel in Australia, thus saving both time and money.

Kaiser's mission was changed from an underway replenishment oiler to a tanker with limited replenishment capabilities in January 1995, when she joined Military Sealift Command's Maritime Prepositioning Ships Squadron Two located off Diego Garcia. During Tandem Thrust, Kaiser is acting as an oiler with three of the ship's five rigs activated for fuel resupply efforts.

At the end of her mission, Kaiser will return to her duties as a full-time tanker with MPSRON Two.