"During the . . . crisis last fall it was decided to send the conventional carrier John F. Kennedy... to reinforce the Sixth Fleet in the eastern Mediterranean. She transited about 4,000 miles from Roosevelt Roads near Puerto Rico at a speed of advance of about 23 knots. This low speed of advance was necessary to conserve fuel so that a reasonable reserve would be aboard upon arrival. She refueled from the tanker . . . west of the Strait of Sicily.
"Had a higher speed been used for the transit, it would have been necessary to refuel at Gibraltar, as she does not carry sufficient [fuel] for a high-speed transit of that distance without refueling. The Kennedy burns nearly twice as much fuel per mile steamed at 30 knots as she does at 23 knots.
"A nuclear carrier could have made the transit at high speed and arrived two days earlier without need to refuel. In a real war situation, the two days could have been decisive; further, the tanker would have been a vulnerable target and might well have already been sunk when Kennedy reached the refueling point."