HNLMS De Ruyter Refuels at Sea
Whilst operating in the Gulf of Aden as a part of the EU Naval Force counter-piracy mission, Operation Atalanta, the Dutch frigate HNLMS De Ruyter has refueled from the US auxiliary ship USNS Medgar Evers.
The refueling was conducted via a Replenishment at Sea (RAS), an impressive event requiring constant attention from the crews of both vessels. The two ships sail very close to each other – about 45 metres apart – whilst various lines and hoses are connected between them for the transfer of fuel and other supplies. A RAS is a challenging event, requiring the two vessels to maintain their position as precisely as possible to avoid excessive tension in the lines or contact between the ships.
As soon as both ships were connected, the Commanding Officers took the opportunity to exchange small gifts.
During the replenishment operation with the American ship, the embarked helicopter from the Dutch frigate continued counter-piracy efforts by conducting an airborne search. During the flight, the Dutch NH90 helicopter carried out deck landings on the Spanish EU Naval Force warship ESPS Rayo.
Naval Today Staff, March 29, 2013; Image: EU Navfor