HMAS Success has conducted her first replenishment at sea as part of Operation MANITOU.
Spanish Meteoro class corvette ESPS Rayo was off the coast of Djibouti on 2 January assigned to Combined Task Force 465, the European Union Naval Force, conducting anti-piracy patrols off the Horn of Africa.
The Royal Australian Navy’s Auxiliary Oil Replenishment ship is currently force assigned to Joint Task Force 633, as part of Combined Task Force 53, and is providing essential logistic support to coalition navy ships on patrol in the area.
By supplying coalition navies with fuel and stores, Success enables ships to remain at sea on task for longer periods.
Eighty thousand litres of F76 fuel was transferred to the patrol force vessel in an evolution that lasted under an hour.
As a sign of camaraderie, Success’s imagery specialist captured a photo of Rayo coming alongside and in a super-quick turnaround, the finished picture was mounted and transferred to the Spanish ship during the evolution.
Commanding Officer Rayo, Lieutenant Commander Rafael Samaniego, displayed his appreciation by giving a thumbs up gesture when he received the picture and waved to Success’s Commanding Officer, Captain Justin Jones, from the bridge.
Lieutenant Commander Samaniego said it was an honour to be on the ‘same side’ as the Australian vessel.
“Thank you very much for a safe and successful evolution”, he said.
On conclusion, the two ships bid each other ‘fair winds and following seas’.
Not only a refuelling exercise, the evolution strengthens cooperation and mutual understanding between the navies, an important factor in conducting counter-piracy, counter-terrorism and counter-smuggling operations in the Middle East.