Recently, HMAS Tobruk conducted a rendezvous in the Mindanao Sea, Philippines Islands; with the Japanese Naval Ships Ise (LHD) and Towada (AOR) to achieve a short notice replenishment. It was the first underway replenishment activity for Tobruk in over two and a half years.
The activity was a milestone for some personnel as well as the ship.
“It was my very first Replenishment At Sea (RAS) and it was a very enjoyable experience,” said Sub Lieutenant Silburn-Evans.
“The environmentals were enviable and conditions could not have been more ideal.”
The RAS was over in less than three hours, and after conducting fuel quality tests, Tobruk’s Engineer, LCDR Griff Elderidge, was pleased to report ‘the quality of the fuel was perfect’.
Messenger Line in company, Captain Rob Knight (2 I/C SAD) said he was impressed by the skill required to conduct the replenishment.
“Having seen how the Army conducts Vehicle Convoy Replenishment, this is certainly a more complex operation than curb-side refuelling and it’s made me appreciate the expertise of Navy. It was an extremely rewarding experience,” said Captain Knight.
Tobruk's Navigator Lieutenant Commander Phillip Alley says the replenishment was a good chance to practice seamanship.
“The opportunity to RAS with Japanese Navy Ship’s Towada and Ise was a great experience for Tobruk. Having been independently steaming since deployment in October, this was an excellent chance to practice ship-handling, tactical manoeuvring and general seamanship.”
“It was a safe and smooth evolution, beautiful scenery and a great day; I’m looking forward to doing it again soon,” said Lieutenant Commander Alley.
On falling out from RAS Specials, the Commanding Officer, Commander Leif Maxfield, summarised the day’s achievements over main-broadcast.
“This is the first RAS we’ve done in two and half years, and we have done extremely well,” he said.
“All short-notice preparations were excellent; we looked smart, professional and very capable. Well done to all personnel involved.”