Cargo can be carried internally, but the preferred
method is to sling it externally since this method is
faster and provides more flexibility. Internal cargo is
restricted to cargo that can be handled by an internal
winch with a capacity of 600 pounds. Depending on the
helicopter and flying conditions, up to 7,000 pounds can
be carried externally.
The majority of VERTREP cargo-handling items
are identical to, or are adaptations of, ordinary
cargo-handling equipment. For example, the forklift
and pallet trucks, wooden and metal pallets, and nylon
cargo nets used for VERTREP are the same as those
used in ordinary cargo-handling operations. Other items
that may not be so familiar are cargotainers, cargo
wraparounds, special hoisting slings, and various
missile containers and dollies.
The same procedures used during the day are used
during nighttime VERTREPs, except that increased
caution and precision are required. The primary
difference between a day and night VERTREP is a
reduction in the speed of operations, due to decreased
visibility. Ships must be certified and authorized to take
part in night VERTREP, and only those with proper
lighting will be certified.
GENERAL REPLENISHMENT SAFETY
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Describe the safety
precautions to be observed during underway
Persons assigned to replenishment stations must be
thoroughly schooled in safety precautions and should
be so well trained that they observe them almost
automatically. Unfortunately, people tend to be careless,
particularly when doing familiar tasks. A primary
consideration in every shipboard evolution is the safety
precautions required, depending upon the equipment
used. Additionally, safety precautions must be reviewed
immediately before each replenishment and must be
observed. Following is a list of general safety
precautions according to NWP 14.
Only essential personnel should be allowed at a
transfer station during replenishment.
Lifelines should not be lowered unless absolutely
necessary. If lowered, temporary lifelines must be
rigged. Temporary lifelines should be a minimum of 2
inches (50.8 mm) in circumference.
When the shot line is passed with a line-throwing
gun the procedures set forth in NWP 14 are to be
Personnel assigned to each transfer station,
including line and cargo handlers, should remove rings,
watches, and other jewelry that could inadvertently be
caught in the rigs, blocks, lines, or cargo.
Personnel must be instructed to keep clear of
bights, to handle lines from the inboard side, and to keep
at least 6 feet (1.8 m) from the blocks through which the
lines pass. If practical, personnel should be forward of
the span wire or highline.
Line-throwing gunners should wear red jerseys
or red vests, and Signalmen should wear green jerseys
or green vests. Jerseys should be worn under life jackets
and vests should be worn over life jackets if personnel
are in the water.
Personnel should be cautioned to keep clear of a
suspended load and to stay clear of the rig's attachment
points until the load has been landed on deck. Personnel
must remain alert and never turn their backs to any load.
Be careful to prevent the shifting of cargo that
might endanger personnel or material.
Span wires, whips, and wire highlines should be
secured to winch drums by one wire rope clip, or
specially designed clamp, to lessen the possibility of
damage should an emergency breakaway be necessary.
Deck spaces near transfer stations must be
covered with nonskid to provide secure footing.
Both the delivering and receiving ships must
station a lifebuoy watch well aft on each engaged side.
The watch must have S/P phone communications with
the bridge and must be equipped with two smoke floats
and a 24-inch (60.9-cm) ring buoy fitted with a float
All hands must be instructed on the hazards of
Phone talkers on intership phone lines must not
fasten their neck straps.
Cargo handlers should not step on or in a cargo
net attached to a cargo hook.
Personnel involved in VERTREP must wear
protective clothing and safety devices as indicated in
NWP 14 and NWP 42.