On Friday, 9th January 2015, EU Naval Force warship, ESPS Rayo, successfully conducted a Replenishment-at-Sea (RAS) with United States supply ship USNS Charles Drew in the Gulf of Aden.
Task Force 53, to which the US ship is attached, provides regular replenishment support to the EU Naval Force’s counter-piracy warships and other international forces in the area of the operations.
After meeting at the RAS rendezvous point, ESPS Rayo increased speed and went alongside USNS Charles Drew in order to start what is a routine, yet very impressive manoeuvre.
As soon as the replenishment was completed, ESPS Rayo resumed her counter-piracy patrols within the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC).
This has not been the first time that ESPS Rayo has conducted a RAS since she joined Operation Atalanta; last December, she successfully completed a RAS with another ship attached to Task Force 53: the USNS Patuxent. This cooperation helps EU Naval Force warships to operate 24/7, protecting World Food Program (WFP) vessels and vulnerable shipping against the continued piracy threat.