Operation Atalanta warships are on patrol around the clock off the coast of Somalia to keep the seas safe from piracy attack. Ensuring the ships remain topped up with fuel is a logistical feat in the waters of the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, with opportunities for replenishment at sea (RAS) taken wherever possible.
Recently, the operation’s new flagship, HNLMS Tromp, conducted a RAS at sunrise with USNS Laramie in the Gulf of Aden. Although this is routine business for mariners, it is always a tense moment as two enormous warships manoeuvre close alongside each other.
Commodore Luyckx, Op Atalanta’s Force Commander, viewed the 500,000 litre replenishment of his flagship from the deck of USNS Laramie, where he was hosted by her Commanding Officer, Captain William Wiggins.
Following completion of the RAS, both ships returned to their respective duties in the Gulf of Aden. HNLMS Tromp joined Operation Atalanta on 6 August 2016 and is working to ensure the threat of piracy off the Somali coast is kept at bay and all seafarers are kept safe.