Service Opens New Era with First-of-its-Kind Articulated Tug-Barge
Crowley Solutions has been awarded the five-year contract to deliver military specification fuel to the Eareckson Air Station located on the remote Aleutian Island of Shemya, Alaska.
Under the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency-Energy contract, beginning in 2021, Crowley will provide lightering and transportation of 4 million gallons of fuel annually for the radar and aircraft refueling station and its 180 military, contractors and civilians who operate it.
Crowley has consistently transported and delivered the fuel since 1956 to the base 1,200 miles from Anchorage in the remote western reaches of the Aleutian Island archipelago. The U.S. government has counted on the company’s experience and innovative logistics capabilities in remote and austere environments, including a unique over-the-shore evolution successfully developed and executed by Crowley in 2020 as featured in this video. However, under the new contract term, Crowley will provide transformational improvements and cost efficiencies through the utilization of the company’s new, purpose-built articulated tug-barge (ATB) in a joint service by Solutions and Crowley Fuels, the company’s Alaska-based fuel transportation and distribution business unit.
The 55,000-barrel-capacity (2.3 million gallon) ATB Aurora/Qamun will serve the air station and Crowley’s customers throughout western Alaska and the Arctic. The 410-foot ATB is specifically designed to meet Ice Class and Polar Code requirements in order to safely and effectively operate in Western Alaska year-round.
“Crowley’s record of dependability and high performance will add a new chapter under this contract when Aurora/Qamun enters service to the government and military,” said Sean Thomas, vice president, for Crowley Solutions. “It is an honor to continue serving our warfighters by safely providing value through a resilient and dependable supply chain whenever and wherever they need fuel.”
“We appreciate the confidence the government continues to show in Crowley. The new contract award reflects the proficiency and skill of the dedicated men and women of Crowley Fuels, and the strong collaboration by the Fuels and Solutions teams,” said Rick Meidel, vice president and general manager, Crowley Fuels.
The ATB, which was designed by Crowley Engineering Services powered by subsidiary Jensen Maritime, is undergoing its final outfitting prior to entering service this year. The tug – whose launch was captured in this video — is being constructed by Master Boat Builders of Bayou La Batre, Ala. The barge is being built by Gunderson Marine LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Greenbrier Companies, Inc., in Portland, Ore.