Story by PO2 Christopher Roys on 06/14/2019BALTIC SEA The Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) conducted a replenishment-at-sea (RAS) with the German Navy Type 702 Berlin-class replenishment ship FGS Berlin (A 1411), in the Baltic Sea as part of Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2019, June 13.
Fort McHenry took on approximately 250,000 gallons of F-76 fuel from Berlin, in an evolution designed to increase the interoperability of the ships involved.
During a RAS, the two ships are connected by a fuel line and restricted in their ability to maneuver. This is a common method of transferring fuel and other supplies in order to maximize a ship's ability to stay underway.
"Being connected to another ship is always a dangerous evolution," said Cmdr. Michael Fabrizio, executive officer of Fort McHenry. "We have executed many successful refuelings, but this one was different since Fort McHenry has never previously replenished with Berlin. The professionalism displayed by both crews was exceptional."
Fort McHenry and Berlin are currently underway participating in BALTOPS, which is the premier annual maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Region, designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability among the 18 participating allied and partner nations.