Written By: Camryn Keeble

Asbestos on Navy Oilers

U.S. Navy Oilers are specialized vessels that provide fuel and other essential supplies to other ships in the fleet. These large ships are used to support naval operations by transporting fuel, oil cargo, Fleet freight and other critical supplies to ships that are underway. Unfortunately, oilers were constructed with asbestos, a cancer-causing substance. This has led to many health issues for Navy veterans.

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

Reviewed By

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

VA-Accredited Claims Agent

Hazards of Asbestos on Navy Oilers

Navy oilers, along with other Navy ships, were built to be extremely tough and to withstand strong seas. Shipbuilders required strong and durable materials to construct these powerful vessels.

Unfortunately, one of the primary materials used throughout naval shipbuilding was asbestos, a cancer-causing substance. Asbestos is the only cause of the rare cancer called mesothelioma, and it can also cause lung cancer and other serious health conditions. 

Shipbuilders valued asbestos for its durability and heat resistance, which is why it was incorporated into various components throughout oilers. Asbestos can be found in deck tiles, engine rooms, boilers, insulation of piping and electrical wiring, valve packing materials and more. 

Due to the mass amounts of asbestos found within Navy ships and throughout other military branches, military asbestos exposure is common.

If you are a Navy veteran who served on one of these ships, you may have been exposed to asbestos on your oiler. Contact our VA-Accredited Claims Agent, retired LCDR Carl Jewett, to find out more information or for assistance filing your VA claim.

More About Navy Oilers

U.S. Navy oilers are auxiliary vessels designed to provide fuel and supplies to Navy ships during peacetime and wartime operations. These replenishment ships play a crucial role in enabling the Navy to maintain a global presence and project power over vast distances, ensuring the fleet can operate efficiently and effectively far from home. 

One of the primary functions of U.S. Navy oilers is to refuel naval vessels while at sea, a process known as underway replenishment (UNREP). This capability allows ships to extend their operational range without having to return to port, enabling the Navy to maintain a persistent presence in strategically important regions and respond rapidly to emerging threats. This logistical support ensures that the fleet can remain mission-ready and sustain its operations for extended periods.

Sources & Author

  1. USS Jason (AR-8) underway in 1993. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37690554. Accessed: 09/05/2023.
Camryn Keeble image

About the Writer, Camryn Keeble

Camryn Keeble is the senior content writer and editor for Mesothelioma Guide. She creates informative content to educate mesothelioma patients and their loved ones on news, treatments and more. She also works diligently to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure and the effects of mesothelioma.