Story and photos by Shannon Haney, Office of Corporate Communications
NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor
The Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility issued over 19 million gallons of fuel to U.S. and foreign ships and aircraft participating in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018 exercise.
Red Hill, operated by NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Pearl Harbor’s Fuel Department, consists of 20 tanks, each able to store 12 million gallons of fuel.
RIMPAC’s 2018 theme was “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.” With “Capable” being an important part of the theme of this exercise, Red Hill and the fuel it delivers was one of the most important factors of RIMPAC 2018.
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Maria Johnston, NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor Fuel Distribution system worker, monitors a fuel hose during a fuel transfer to a coalition oiler during RIMPAC 2018.
“Red Hill enables fleet readiness and is a key component of operations in the Pacific,” said Lt. Cmdr. Blake Whittle, fuel department director. “We are capable of fueling three fleet replenishment oilers simultaneously via pier connection to conduct quick turnarounds to get the vessels back underway to conduct replenishments-at-sea (RASs).”
The RASs allow the surface ships participating in RIMPAC 2018 to maintain the proper amount of fuel and supplies so the ships can continue the exercise without pulling into port for logistical needs.
A gravity-fed distribution system delivers fuel from the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility tanks to Pearl Harbor, three and a half miles away. The facility can operate manually, requiring no connection to the Internet or outside power source.
“Red Hill is reliable and delivers fuel quickly – three times faster than comparable facilities,” said Whittle. “It is also two times faster than refueling from a barge or truck. The faster the fueling evolution progresses, the less likely a mishap will occur.”
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NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor personnel hoist fuel hoses to rig to a coalition oiler in preparation for a fuel transfer during RIMPAC 2018.
Red Hill fuel is used by each of the military services in Hawaii, including the U.S. Coast Guard, which frequently conducts rescue missions in Hawaiian waters. Along with the Hawaii Air National Guard, which is also fueled by Red Hill, the Coast Guard assisted in relief and reconnaissance efforts in Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii in recent months.
“The Red Hill fuel facility is considered essential for providing the fuel necessary to defend our nation, safeguard our national interests and support humanitarian missions,” said Whittle.
RIMPAC 2018 was the world’s largest international maritime exercise. Twenty-five nations, more than 45 surface ships and submarines, 17 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel took part in this unique training opportunity designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s interconnected oceans.