HMAS Success’s ship’s company recently witnessed the awesome display of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s amphibious vessel USS Iwo Jima.
Deployed on Operation MANITOU, Success was in company with Iwo Jima on transit through the Gulf of Aden.
Iwo Jima carries MH-60S Seahawk, MH-53E Super Sea Stallion, Bell AH-1W Super Cobra and Bell UH-1N Twin Huey helicopters, as well as Bell MV-22 Osprey (tilt rotor) aircraft and AV-8B Harrier Jets.
Boatswains Mate Able Seaman Thomas Darcy said it was incredible seeing Iwo Jima’s operations up close.
“The Harrier jets sliced the air leaving a stream line from their wing tips which produced great action photos. This was definitely the highlight of our deployment so far.”
Success recently conducted a replenishment at sea with Iwo Jima, transferring 685 cubic meters (CZ) of F76 marine diesel fuel, and 405 CZ of F44 aviation fuel to the carrier, the latter a record amount for the Royal Australian Navy’s Battle Tanker.
Iwo Jima dwarfs Success, a tanker that usually makes other warships look small.
It was a stunning sight for Success’s crew, which is used to looking down on frigates or corvettes from the flag deck.
Success’s own embarked dependable S-70B-2 Seahawk spent much of the replentishment in the air, capturing images of this spectacular scene.
Pilot, Lieutenant Jordan Taylor, was impressed by Iwo Jima’s aviation capability.
“I can see why these ships are so versatile,” he said.
“The flight decks on these types of carriers would be among the most dangerous workplaces in the world.
“There is so much happening, with such little margin for error.”
Success is in the Middle East on Operation MANITOU, the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to maritime security, stability and prosperity in the area.
Working occasionally as part of Combined Task Force 53, Success provides logistical support to Combined Maritime Fleet coalition naval ships in the Middle East, enabling them to remain on patrol for longer periods.
She is due to return home to Fleet Base East in June.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20143110.