UK: RFA’s Wave Knight Sets Sail for Counter Narcotics, Disaster Relief Patrol

RFA's Wave Knight Sets Sail for Counter Narcotics, Disaster Relief Patrol

A support ship to the Royal Navy has set sail for the West Coast of North America on a counter narcotics and disaster relief patrol for the next six months. Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ship Wave Knight left Portland to take up the task of the UK’s Atlantic Patrol Tasking (North), a year round commitment to the hurricane-plagued region in support of humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations.

For this deployment Wave Knight has loaded specialist stores to help countries in the event of a natural disaster from DfID, the Humanitarian and Disaster Relief and Department for International Development.

Prior to deployment RFA Wave Knight’s ship’s company completed a training package which tested and developed their ability to plan and deliver relief operations.

Speaking of the deployment, the ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain Ross Ferris, said:

“Following a particularly busy regeneration period, Wave Knight’s ship’s company has risen to the challenge of a short notice change of programme and we are now fully prepared and looking forward to an extended tour to the Caribbean.

“In addition to our humanitarian aid and disaster relief capability we will also be conducting counter narcotics trafficking patrols, working closely with the US, multi-national and regional forces in the war against illegal drugs.”

RFA Wave Knight is a 31,500 tonne Fleet Tanker which has the ability to refuel other naval vessels at sea from its three beam rigs and one stern rig as well as carrying dry stores.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary support Royal Navy operations across the world, carrying supplies such as food, ammunition and fuel.

The ship has recently under gone a refit at Cammell Lairds in Birkenhead following on from her last deployment, which ended in March 12. This saw her supporting the international naval effort east of Suez, providing not only fuel for Coalition ships and aircraft but also carrying out front-line and anti-piracy duties.

Captain Ferris added:

 “Our flexibility and capability is ably demonstrated by Wave Knight’s action packed programme.

“This time last year on operations East of Suez and this year’s operations in the Caribbean, and with a major refit enroute, 2013 promises to be no less busy and satisfying.”

Naval Today Staff, January 16, 2013; Image: Royal Navy