HMAS Perth Conducts Replenishment At Sea

HMAS Perth Conducts Replensihment At Sea

Despite the rough seas and howling wind, the crew on HMAS Perth battled the elements to conduct a Replenishment At Sea (RAS) with the United States Naval Ship Matthew Perry.

With just 50 metres between the two ships, extreme precision is required to keep both ships steady on the same course and maintain the gap between the two hulls. Once the guide ropes are attached, the job of manoeuvering the fuel line across a pulley system begins from the Matthew Perry to HMAS Perth.

Ship’s Warrant Officer, Warrant Officer Vaughn King said they were the roughest conditions in which the Ship had done a RAS for quite some time.

The RAS is a really important event as it keeps the ship at sea for much longer but it requires a lot of skill and hard work to do it quickly and safely,” said Warrant Officer King.

The crew on the port waste deck were swamped numerous times by water churned up by the bow of the Matthew Perry as they kept an eye on the fuel lines while HMAS Perth received aviation fuel and diesel.

The RAS is historically celebrated on its completion by the playing of music. HMAS Perth has a unique form of celebration with its own band, “No Direction”, comprised of keen musicians from within the Ship’s company.

On this RAS however, the defence watch timetable and rough weather meant that “No Direction” were unable to perform.

HMAS Perth has a 21 day stint at sea and with another RAS scheduled before the sea phase exercise concludes so “No Direction” may still get the opportunity to celebrate the RAS in a distinctly HMAS Perth style.

HMAS Perth is one of two Australian frigates participating in EX RIMPAC 12. During the sea phase exercise, HMAS Perth will be conducting flying operations with the S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter onboard, boarding and submarine exercises. HMAS Perth also successfully fired two Evolved Sea Sparrow Surface to Air Missiles in a critical test of the ship’s high end war fighting skills.

Approximately 1,100 Australian sailors, soldiers, airmen and women are participating on Exercise RIM-OF-THE-PACIFIC (RIMPAC 12) from 27 June 2012 to 2 August 2012.

Naval Today Staff, July 27, 2012; Image: Australian Navy