Sirius kicks off 2014 with a bit of RAS(L) dazzle

Published on LEUT Des Paroz (author and photographer), LCDR Peter Russell (photographer)

Topic(s): Operation RESOLUTE, HMAS Stuart (F153), HMAS Sirius (A266), Replenishment at Sea (RAS)

A thirsty HMAS Stuart receives liquid replenishment from HMAS Sirius during border protection duties. (photo: LEUT Des Paroz)
A thirsty HMAS Stuart receives liquid replenishment from HMAS Sirius during border protection duties.

West-based tanker HMAS Sirius has conducted the first Replenishment at Sea (RAS) for the Royal Australian Navy in 2014.

Deployed in support of Operation RESOLUTE, Sirius sailed from Fleet Base West in late December to provide much needed replenishment to the Anzac class frigate HMAS Stuart on border protection duties.

While in transit, Sirius’ crew spent New Year’s Eve playing an afternoon game of speed ball on the flight deck. This was followed by sundowners on the bridge, where the crew of 51 enjoyed some non-alcoholic wine and cheese, while taking in the sunset in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

ABML-C Freyling and ABMT Bartley jump for the ball during a New Year’s Eve game of speed ball on the flight deck of HMAS Sirius.

ABML-C Freyling and ABMT Bartley jump for the ball during a New Year’s Eve game of speed ball on the flight deck of HMAS Sirius.

Sirius’ Stewards Able Seaman Kristi Abriola and Able Seaman Kim Williamson set up the non-alcoholic wine and cheese boards.

“Everyone was missing their family and friends, so it was great to be able to celebrate the year’s end with colleagues,” Able Seaman Abriola said.

“It was a great chance for the whole ship to bond together,” Able Seaman Williamson said.

One of the dedicated sailors who keep Sirius running, Able Seaman Adrian Vorwerk, appreciated the efforts put into the evening.

“It was really good to have a celebration put on for us,” Able Seaman Vorwerk said.

Leading Seaman Luke Ireland was the Quartermaster of Sirius during the Sundowners and noticed a different vibe with 51 people on the bridge.

LSBM Luke Ireland maintains watch on the bridge of HMAS Sirius just before the New Years Eve sundowners.

LSBM Luke Ireland maintains watch on the bridge of HMAS Sirius just before the New Years Eve sundowners.

“Usually there’s only a few people on the bridge during the first watch, so having the whole ship’s company up there gave it a completely different atmosphere,” Leading Seaman Ireland said.

On New Year’s Day it was straight back to business with new Executive Officer Commander Bill Waters overseeing a number of exercises to sharpen the crew’s edge. This included a number of emergency scenario training exercises and preparations for the upcoming Replenishment at Sea (Liquid) – RAS(L).

The following morning Sirius met HMAS Stuart off Christmas Island for the RAS. Although refuelled only a couple of weeks earlier, Stuart was quite thirsty having also been working hard over the New Year period on Operation RESOLUTE.

The RAS also provided an opportunity to conduct several RAS Approach training manoeuvres before the actual replenishment.

The ADF’s commitment to border protection was on show during the replenishment, with a number of Navy and Army members observing the RAS from Stuart’s deck, while an RAAF AP-3C Orion made a low level fly past during the evolution.