maneuver within visual range of a suspected mine.
The operator can then use the closed-circuit
television aboard the MNS to visually identify the
object. If the object is identified as a bottom mine,
a detonating charge can be placed nearby for
subsequent destruction. If the object proves to be
a moored mine, the cable can be cut, allowing the
mine to float to the surface for subsequent
The United States has current plans to produce
14 ships of the Avenger class. The Naval Reserve
Force operates most of the older minesweeping
AUXILIARY AND SUPPORT SHIPS
The effectiveness of a fleet depends to a great
extent on its quantity and type of auxiliary ships.
These ships back up the fighting forces with
supporting services that keep the fleet operating.
The supporting services furnish, when needed,
vital supplies such as fuel, ammunition, repair
parts, and food. The part auxiliary ships play in
time of war is not as highly publicized as that of
combat ant ships. However, auxiliary ships fight
just as hard as combatant ships in providing their
services to the fleet.
The type of service an auxiliary provides
determines its classification. The initial letter in
each designation is an A. An AD is a destroyer
tender, while an AS is a submarine tender. An
AO is an oiler, and an AOR is a replenishment
oiler. An AE is an ammunition (explosives) supply
ship, while an AOE is a multiple-product fast
combat support ship. An AFS is a combat stores
ship; an AR, a repair ship; and an AG, a
miscellaneous category that includes a variety of
In peacetime Navy ships must often remain
at sea for long periods; in wartime the fleet usually
operates far from bases of support. Therefore,
ships require some means of resupply to remain
fully capable of carrying out the Navys mission
and other assigned tasks. This broad operational
requirement is met by underway replenishment
(UNREP). UNREP has maintained fleets over-
seas, such as the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean
Sea, during peacetime for many years.
Underway replenishment refers to all methods
of transferring fuel, munitions, supplies, and
personnel from one vessel to another while ships
are under way. Ships use two general methods of
replenishment: connected and vertical. They may
use both methods simultaneously.
The connected replenishment (CONREP)
method uses lines rigged between ships to transfer
personnel and lines or hoses rigged between ships
to transfer commodities. The vertical replenish-
ment (VERTREP) method employs helicopters to
transfer personnel and cargo (except fuel).
Transferring fuel is called fueling (or refueling)
at sea (FAS). Transferring cargo is called
replenishment at sea (RAS).
Replenishing consists of a certain amount of
dead time on the part of the combat ship. During
this time the ship is preparing to go alongside the
replenishing ship, connecting lines, replenishing,
breaking away upon completion, and returning
to station. The fewer replenishing stops a ship
has to make, the less time it remains off station.
The process of replenishing a ship under way
proceeds more quickly if the replenishing vessel
is a multiple-product delivery ship, which carries
several types of commodities.
Lets look now at some of the replenishment
ships used by the Navy.
AMMUNITION SHIPS. Ammunition ships
(AEs) operate with replenishment groups to
deliver ammunition and missiles to the fleet at sea.
Ships of the Kilauea class (fig. 19-19) are 564 feet
long and 81 feet wide, draw 26 feet of water, and
displace 18,000 tons. At first glance, these figures
sound unimpressive; but when compared to
World War II AEs, they are a substantial
improvement in cargo capacity, cargo handling,
and speed. Their design incorporates a mechanical
handling system for more rapid loading and off-
loading of ammunition. A tension highline system
is built into the design, along with new, improved
electrohydraulic cargo winches for replenishment
OILERS. Oilers (AOs), carrying Navy fuel
oil and other petroleum products, operate with
replenishment groups and deliver their cargo to
ships at sea. Oilers can service ships on both sides
The number of Navy-manned fleet oilers has
diminished as more and more civilian-manned
Military Sealift Command ships have assumed
responsibilities for supplying the fleet. The Navy
is converting all five of the Cimarron-class oilers
(fig. 19-20) into jumbo oilers. The AO jumbo
program is designed to increase the 120,000-barrel
fuel capacity of these ships to 150,000 barrels. It