In the approach lanes of one of the busiest sea traffic waterways in the world, the INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR 2019 Joint Task Force has fuelled up for the final leg of the major Australian Defence Force activity.
HMA Ships Canberra, Newcastle and Success have visited Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam as part of efforts to promote security and stability in the region. They will also visit ports in Singapore and Indonesia.
Following a transit through the Malacca and Singapore Straits, the ships took on their fill of fuel from the US Navy Supply ship USNS Pecos, with most of it going to Australia’s ‘Battle Tanker’, Success.
Success’ Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Alfonso Santos, said the replenishment at sea (RAS) took three hours.
“This is a busy shipping lane with thousands of vessels transiting in and out of the Straits, so carrying out this RAS required a high degree of planning, skill and alertness by all crews involved,” Lieutenant Commander Santos said.
“We have very experienced, capable and professional people on our ships and, as a result, everything went to plan.”
Newcastle and Success connected up to either side of Pecos before Canberra sailed in for its turn.
Lieutenant Commander Santos said working with and supporting allies and partners in the region was important.
“It enhances the capability of our defence forces and it demonstrates how well we can work together, which is vital in times of crisis when we are all called upon to respond to humanitarian crises or security needs,” he said.
“It demonstrates our capability to remain away from the Australian station for extended periods, operating cooperatively with other navies and proving sustainability and interoperability.
“We now have enough fuel to keep Success going until we return to Sydney...we also have enough to make sure Canberra and Newcastle get home too.”
IPE 2019 is due to finish at the end of May with the ships returning to their home ports in June.
Additional imagery is available on the Defence Image Gallery: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20191162.