Busy start to RIMPAC sea phase for Success

Published on LEUT Vishal Bhakoo (author), LSIS Brenton Freind (photographer)

Location(s): IVO Honolulu, Hawaii

HMAS Success (centre) conducts a dual RAS (Replenishment at Sea) with USS Sampson (left) and USS Lake Champlain (right) during the Sea Phase of Exercise RIMPAC 2014.  (photo: Leading Seaman Brenton Freind)
HMAS Success (centre) conducts a dual RAS (Replenishment at Sea) with USS Sampson (left) and USS Lake Champlain (right) during the Sea Phase of Exercise RIMPAC 2014.

Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2014 (RIMPAC) involves 49 ships, six submarines and multiple fixed and rotary winged aircraft from 22 countries.

HMAS Success has been busy since sailing from Pearl Harbor for the sea phase of RIMPAC, having conducted replenishment operations with Her Majesties Canadian Ship Calgary and United States Ships Lake Champlain, Spruance and Sampson. She has also operated with the Canadian submarine HMCS Victoria

The Replenishment at Sea (RAS) conducted with Sampson and Lake Champlain was the first dual RAS performed by Success in six years, so her Ship’s Company were keen to demonstrate her capabilities. 

The Commanding Officer of HMAS Success, Captain Allison Norris said the Royal Australian Navy’s Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ship was thriving in the dynamic nature of the exercise. 

“This is an amazing opportunity for Success to demonstrate her replenishment and logistic capabilities within this multi-asset environment.”

HMCS Calgary (near) holds her station astern as HMAS Success (centre) conducts a dual RAS (Replenishment at Sea) off the coast of Hawaii with USS Lake Champlain and USS Sampson (left) during the Sea Phase of Exercise RIMPAC 2014.

HMCS Calgary (near) holds her station astern as HMAS Success (centre) conducts a dual RAS (Replenishment at Sea) off the coast of Hawaii with USS Lake Champlain and USS Sampson (left) during the Sea Phase of Exercise RIMPAC 2014.

The dual RAS required full commitment from all personnel with two full RAS teams closed up for the evolution, while helicopter and small boat evolutions were also conducted simultaneously.  The ship’s bridge team had to be particularly focused as they closely monitored the movement of both coalition ships as they maintained their replenishment stations to Success. 

Success’s Chief Coxswain, Chief Petty Officer Raechelle Henderson was on the helm during the dual RAS.

“The four hour evolution took a lot of concentration at the helm and it gave me a real sense of achievement at the end,” Chief Petty Officer Henderson said. 

Assistant Officer of the Watch, Sub-Lieutenant Rhian Campbell-McBride, who recently received her Bridge Warfare Certificate onboard Success, said she enjoyed the dynamic nature of the evolution.

“It was amazing to see five ships so close together and the helicopter in such close proximity. This is why I joined the Navy as a Maritime Warfare Officer. It was a great experience, and I’m looking forward to doing it again soon,” Sub-Lieutenant Campbell-McBride said. 

Success will continue in her key refuelling role at RIMPAC 2014 until the end of July.

HMAS Success (centre) conducts a dual RAS (Replenishment at Sea) off the coast of Hawaii with USS Sampson (left) and USS Lake Champlain (right), while other RIMPAC ships hold station astern during the Sea Phase of Exercise RIMPAC 2014.

HMAS Success (centre) conducts a dual RAS (Replenishment at Sea) off the coast of Hawaii with USS Sampson (left) and USS Lake Champlain (right), while other RIMPAC ships hold station astern during the Sea Phase of Exercise RIMPAC 2014.