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Document: Report to Congress on Next Generation Oiler

The following is the Feb. 6, 2015 Congressional Research Service report, Navy TAO(X) Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress.

  • KC135TopBoom

    Even though TAOs, and the other UNREP types of ships, are not front line surface combatants, they are among the most vital ships in the Navy. UNREP is a vital to the USN as air refueling is to the USAF. They are a force multiplier.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Toward the end of WW-II, after Germany had been defeated, the British offered some of their fleet to “assist” the U.S. against Japan in the Pacific. The U.S. commanders were appalled to learn that the British could only manage to be at sea for about one week out of a month. The U.S. ships could be away from port much longer, mainly because they had mastered the skills of refueling while underway.
    These Oilers are the life-blood of the (non-nuclear) surface fleet, and are what allows the U.S. Navy’s presence around the world, around the clock.

  • disqus_89uuCprLIv

    The history of WW-II shows that USN considerations for fuel availability drove operational planning. In 1942, the Navy chose not to use the battleships it had in the South Pacific in the fight for the Solomons because there were not enough oilers and fuel for them on top of that which the carriers and cruisers required.

    Only when more fuel -the tanker train- provided more black oil and more fleet oilers arrived were the Washington and South Dakota employed.

    Also the USN cryptologists had a priority watch on Japanese fleet oilers because the Imperial Navy had so few that it was necessary to accumulate them and load them before the Japanese battleships could sortie. There was, therefore, warning due to their absence.

    Logistics win wars. Men fight but after running out of food, fuel and ammunition cannot prevail.