Canadian refuelling a first for Stuart at Kakadu 18

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), LSIS Nicolas Gonzalez (photographer), POIS Yuri Ramsey (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Stuart (F153), Exercise KAKADU, Replenishment at Sea (RAS)

Commanding Officer of HMAS Stuart, Commander Chris Leece, on the starboard bridge wing during a replenishment at sea with Canadian Tanker MV Asterix during Exercise Kakadu 2018. (photo: LSIS Nicolas Gonzalez)
Commanding Officer of HMAS Stuart, Commander Chris Leece, on the starboard bridge wing during a replenishment at sea with Canadian Tanker MV Asterix during Exercise Kakadu 2018.

Replenishments at sea are business-as-usual in the Royal Australian Navy but new ground was broken recently for HMAS Stuart when the Anzac class frigate took on fuel from Canadian tanker MV Asterix for the first time during Exercise Kakadu 2018.

Stuart Commanding Officer, Commander Chris Leece, said despite not having worked with Asterix before, the RAS went off without a hitch.

“Refuelling at sea is always a challenging evolution but the fact that we’ve never operated with Asterix before added another level of complexity to the event,” he said. 

“Every Navy has its subtle differences so working in a multi-lateral environment requires close cooperation between ships to give both commanding officers the confidence to carry out such an evolution.

“And I’m happy to say thanks to the professionalism shown by both Stuart and Asterix that today’s refuelling was a complete success and further strengthens the ties between the RAN and the Royal Canadian Navy.”

While Stuart was taking on 50,000 litres of F76 diesel fuel on Asterix’s port side, United States Navy destroyer USS Michael Murphy was topping up her tanks on the starboard side of the tanker. 

On completion of the serial, both ships broke away from Asterix to resume their positions in the task group.

Exercise Kakadu 2018 is a biennial joint exercise and this year involves 27 nations and more than 3000 personnel. This represents the largest military commitment to the exercise since it began in 1993.

Exercise Kakadu runs until mid-September.