Success earns high praise in heavy seas

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR David Roberts (author), MC2(SW) Will Gaskill (photographer)

Topic(s): Exercise RIMPAC

Taken from USS Spruance as HMAS Success refuels the Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer. (photo: MC2(SW) Will Gaskill)
Taken from USS Spruance as HMAS Success refuels the Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer.

A senior officer within the United States Navy has praised the crew of HMAS Success after they battled strong winds and big seas to replenish two US warships.

Braving 40-knot winds and a four-metre swell in the Indian Ocean near Indonesia, the Royal Australian Navy auxiliary oiler refuelled USS Spruance and USS Mosmen.

Commander of Destroyer Squadron 31, Captain Chuck Johnson, said the "perseverance and professionalism" shown by Success in testing weather conditions was a reflection of a "hardworking and well-drilled team".

"To the Captain, Commander Michael Letts, and the officers and crew of HMAS Success, Bravo Zulu for your dedicated and expert support for USS Momsen and USS Spruance," Captain Johnson said.

"I wish the battle tanker and her crew fair winds and following seas for the remainder of your deployment."

USS Spruance and USS Momsen are Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

They are part of a three-ship surface action group deployed by the US to the western Pacific.

The destroyers required refuelling after an extensive period at sea, with Success the only replenishment unit available in the area.

Success proved its dual station capability, able to supply F44 and F76 fuel to Spruance and Momsen simultaneously.

Royal Australian Navy ships frequently exercise with the US Navy in the course of bilateral and multinational exercises.

Success deployed to South East Asia in June and has conducted various international engagements in Timor-Leste, Indonesia and Singapore.

The first Arleigh Burke-class ship was commissioned in 1991.

There are currently 62 built and active Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in the US Navy.