Tanker RFA Wave Ruler is about to turn for home after six months of providing fuel and other supplies to the ships of many nations committed to the fight against terrorism and piracy. The ship has delivered 14,000 tonnes of fuel to allied vessels – enough to fill six Olympic-sized swimming pools.
UNGLAMOROUS but essential, British tanker RFA Wave Ruler pumps fuel into American destroyer USS Jason Dunham – one of dozens of ships to receive ‘black gold’ from her during six months in the Gulf.
The Wave-class tanker is about to depart the region, her mission done – much to the disappointment of the many Coalition warships who’ve suckled her fuel hoses in 2012, for they describe her as “a real trooper” for whom “nothing is too much trouble”.
The 31,000-tonne tanker has repeatedly covered the entire Gulf operating area – from the waters off Bahrain in the north, Aden in the west and Mogadishu in the south.
In doing so, she’s steamed 18,000 miles and, more importantly, transferred 14,000 tonnes of fuel transferred to allied ships – the equivalent of six Olympic-size swimming pools. She’s also delivered stores and other supplies when required.
Although she sails under the ensign of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, her mission east of Suez has been ‘driven’ by the US’ Military Sealift Command Central, responsible for naval support operations in this part of the world. During a recent visit its head Commodore Robert Gonzales told the Rulers:
“It was a pleasure to be onboard to thank personally the ship’s company for their outstanding service, flexibility and proactive approach.”
Wave Ruler has one more port visit before leaving the region and returning to the UK.
“We’ve operated with ships of 14 different nations, illustrating the strategic importance of this region and the vital part played by Wave Ruler,” said her captain, Capt Robert Allan RFA.
“None of this would be possible without the support and of our HQ teams ashore in the UK and Bahrain, plus of course the understanding of our families and friends, which is particularly poignant this year as we expect to be at sea for both Christmas and New Year.”
Naval Today Staff, December 6, 2012; Image: Royal Navy