Replenishment at sea is a complex endeavour, requiring close-quarters manoeuvring from ships in all manner of conditions. Limiting the time that ships are side-by-side is ideal for safety and operational effectiveness.
For the team on HMAS Sirius, one of Australian Navy’s tankers, efficient and safe replenishment is their daily challenge.
Commanding Officer Sirius Commander Darren Grogan said it was ideal for ships to be alongside Sirius for only the minimum amount of time required to complete the evolution.
A replenishment is initiated by the passing of gun line attached to a projectile fired from a rifle. Often projectiles become entangled in Sirius’ gantry rigs causing significant delays and risking damage.
In an effort to improve safety and prevent damage to equipment the ship’s boatswains mates have created a target and their Commanding Officer has set a challenge to the rest of the fleet to get their gun line through the centre of the target.
Sirius is a commercially built tanker with a capacity to hold approximately 35 million litres of fuel including a combination of F44 aviation fuel and F76 marine diesel oil. To date Sirius has conducted 426 replenishments at sea with ships from multiple nations.
Image: Australian Navy