HMS Defender refuels with US Carrier Strike Group in the Gulf
Royal Navy’s HMS Defender has received a replenishment in stores and fuel during her deployment to the Arabian Gulf where she constitutes a part of the US Carrier Strike Group fighting against the Daesh.
In the complex scenario, the Type 45 destroyer was refueled with 500,000 litres from US tanker USNS Pecos at the same time as US aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman.
This means all three ships had to sail at the same speed of 14 knots and ensure they were less than 50 metres apart – a tough job when the carrier displaces 100,000 tonnes of water.
Adding to the mix was a transfer of 2,500 tonnes of stores by helicopter from the USNS Medgar Evers to the aircraft carrier.
HMS Defender’s Navigating Officer Lieutenant Barry Crosswood said: “Replenishing in an operational environment really focuses the mind, particularly when the task force is in such close proximity.”
In total six ships were involved in the replenishment: HMS Defender, USS Harry S Truman, USS Anzio, USS Ramage, USNS Pecos, and USNS Medgar Evers.
HMS Defender is on a nine month deployment, and will continue working with the American and French carrier strike groups to support their air campaigns against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.