Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Newcastle rendezvoused with French Ship (FS) Var in the the Mozambique Channel on May 18 to conduct replenishment at sea (RAS).
Both warships are integrated in Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), in the aim to prevent terrorism and related illegal activity throughout the region. This was not the first meeting of these two vessels but it was to be the most complex evolution conducted so far.
The day’s evolution involved concurrent replenishment of fuel while food stores were embarked via a vertical replenishment (VERTREP) with Newcastle’s Seahawk helicopter.
During the RAS both ships’ companies linked fueling equipment for the transfer of diesel and aviation fuel, while the Seahawk transferred vital cargo to replenish Newcastle’s ration holdings.
Following the replenishment Newcastle was able to continue with maritime security operations, inside her area of responsibility. Newcastle is currently deployed on Operation MANITOU, which is Australia’s military contribution to the international effort to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region via counter terrorism, counter piracy and narcotics interdiction operations.
Newcastle is on patrol with the Combined Maritime Forces, CTF-150, of which Var is the Command Ship.