The US Navy has revamped its large drone strategy. Now midair refueling and spying are in the plan. The primary mission would be so-called “recovery tanking.” This involves refueling planes flying in a fixed orbit around the aircraft carrier.
On April 15, 2015 over the Chesapeake Bay, a U.S. Navy drone linked up with an aerial tanker.
A combat air patrol is an aircraft patrol provided over an objective area, over the force protected, over the critical area of a combat zone, or over an air defense area, for the purpose of intercepting and destroying hostile aircraft before they reach their target. Combat air patrols apply to both overland and overwater operations, protecting other aircraft, fixed and mobile sites on land, or ships at sea. The first CAPs were characteristic of aircraft carrier operations, where CAPs were flown to protect a carrier battle group, but the term has become generic to both Air Force and Navy flight operations.
SOURCES- War is Boring, Wikipedia