VIDEO: The Call of Blue Water – CNO SITREP 12 (1976)

Department of Defense PIN 34761.

Cross-deck visits between HMAS Newcastle and RFA Fort Victoria

RFA Fort Victoria is a Fort-class oiler replenishment ship (AOR) commissioned into the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in 1994. HMAS Newcastle is an Adelaide-class frigate commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy in 1993.

A view from the other side

While operating together in the Gulf of Aden, HMAS Newcastle and the UK’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) replenishment ship Fort Victoria, conducted a cross-deck for the day for six lucky sailors.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fort Victoria’s fueling hose is connected to HMAS Newcastle during a Replenishment at Sea in the Gulf of Aden. ABBM Troy Bennett.

While the ships conducted a replenishment at sea (RAS) the sailors got to see their ships from a different angle.

Taking a break from the fuelling, Assistant Marine Engineering Officer Lieutenant Gareth Giles was fortunate to be cross-decked to Fort Victoria for the day and said it was good to see the RAS from a different point of view.

“What’s interesting are the differences between how the RAN and RFA operate. The amount of space they have is amazing. I was taken on a detailed tour and it was difficult to come back to Newcastle after seeing the single cabins with ensuites and the living conditions experienced on a RFA vessel!”

Visiting Fort Victoria with LEUT Gareth Giles was Leading Seaman Marine Technician Mathew Bland, Able Seaman Electronics Technician Jerrad Comber, Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator Adam O’Brien, Able Seaman Maritime Logistics – Personnel sailor Laura Johnson and Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Troy Bennett.

HMAS Newcastle’s Lieutenant Gareth Giles, Leading Seaman Marine Technician Ethan Boland and Able Seaman Adam O’Brien ready for a helicopter transfer to Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fort Victoria to experience life on a British ship. POEW Ben White.

LSMT Bland said it was a great to be able to see the RAS from the other side. He was taken on a tour of the Junior Sailors’ dining and living areas as well as the engineering spaces.

“It was such an amazing day and something I will never forget. It was so interesting to see how other sailors live and how their ship operates. The helicopter ride over there was also a first for me.”

Newcastle, in turn, also hosted several officers and sailors from the large replenishment ship, including Fort Victoria’s Medical Officer, Lieutenant Louise McMenemy.

Newcastle’s Medical Officer Lieutenant Natalie Boulton hosted LEUT McMenemy for a tour of the ship, and they watched a boarding operation from the Bridge before taking part in the sickbay afternoon tea session.

“The visit gave both Doctors the opportunity to share professional experiences and foster an understanding of how both could assist each other if the unforeseeable need should arise,” LEUT Boulton said.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fort Victoria’s Medical Officer Lieutenant McMenemy receives a tour of HMAS Newcastle’s medical facilities from Medical Officer Lieutenant Natalie Boultan. LCDR Ludovic Miller.

Boarding Officer and Officer of the Watch (OOW) Lieutenant Alec Fieldsend hosted two RFA Maritime Warfare Officer Cadets.

“They were interested in talking about the cricket, funnily enough. I took them up showed them what a Warship’s Bridge looked like. They both enjoyed the experience, the opportunity to see how we do business on an Australian warship and observe a RAS from the customer’s point of view,” LEUT Fieldsend said.

Royal Fort Auxiliary (RFA) Cadet Pescodd, Royal Australian Navy Lieutenant Alec Fieldsend and RFA Cadet Rowe watch HMAS Newcastle conduct a Replenishment at Sea with RFA Fort Victoria. POEW Ben White

Newcastle is deployed to the MEAO as part of Operation SLIPPER, the Australian Defence Force contribution to the international campaign against terrorism, smuggling and piracy in the Gulf of Aden, and for enhancing regional maritime security and engagement.

Her current deployment is the 55th rotation of an Australian warship to the MEAO since 1990.

(L-R) Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator James Maybury shows SG1 Mark Adams, RFA Fort Victoria around HMAS Newcastle. POEW Ben White.

HMAS Newcastle’s S70B-2 Helicopter lands on RFA Fort Victoria’s deck to collect members of Newcastle’s ships company. ABBM Troy Bennett.


http://news.navy.gov.au/en/Sep2013/Operations/363/A-view-from-the-other-side.htm#.UiW2uD-WObg

PHOTEX: USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) pulls away from USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3)

130828-N-CE241-005 GULF OF OMAN (Aug. 28, 2013) The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) pulls away from the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3) after completing a replenishment-at-sea. Harry S. Truman, flagship for the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, is deployed supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Laura Hoover/Released)

VIDEO: Spring Cruise (1957)

US, RAN combined fleet prepares for battle against ‘Kamaria’

Tricky bastards, those Kamarians. You’ve got to watch them.

Exercise TALISMAN SABER fleet prepares for battle

Ship’s company from Royal Australian Navy Anzac Class frigate HMAS Perth keep watch from the gun directional platform during an air defence exercise held during Exercise TALISMAN SABER 2013.

Following aggression by the fictional island nation ‘Kamaria’, Australia and the United States have been called upon to form a combined force to restore peace and security to the region.

Now, a large and highly capable Australian and US Navy fleet is amassing in the Coral Sea to prepare for action against the mythical ‘Kamarians’.

This fictional scenario provides the backdrop for Exercise TALISMAN SABER 2013, a bilateral Australian/US exercise aimed at improving combat readiness and the ability of US and Australian forces to operate together.

As the fictional political scenario unfolds, warships from the Royal Australian Navy and the US Navy’s 7th fleet are gathering together for an initial period of force integration training, designed to get the two navies used to working together before engaging in higher level ‘free-play’ combat exercises.

Training so far has included anti-submarine and anti-air warfare exercises, underway replenishments and coordinated manoeuvres involving multiple ships steaming in formation.

Among the fleet is the Upgraded Anzac Class frigate HMAS Perth, sporting its recently-installed anti-ship missile defences.

Attacks by Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 Hornets have tested the ship’s upgraded sensors and combat system while members of Perth’s 5-inch gun crew have proven their skills in live firing exercises against towed airborne targets.

Perth’s bridge and operations room teams have been put through their paces working in close company with US Navy Arleigh Burke class destroyers USS Preble and USS Chung Hoon and Ticonderoga Class cruiser USS Antietam and Australian guided missile frigate HMAS Sydney.

Other members of the ship’s company have participated in several fire fighting and damage control exercises.

HMAS Perth Commanding Officer, Captain Lee Goddard said this initial phase of the exercise training was invaluable, as it set the scene for the next stage of the combined training.

“This initial force integration training aims to bring together a large number of ships that will be working together during the exercise so they can become an effective combined fighting force.

“It gives us the opportunity to establish command and control relationships, refine operating procedures and learn how we can best use the capabilities each ship brings to the task force.

“Once this solid foundation is established, we can safely move into higher level training in a free-play exercise environment where we respond to a rapidly unfolding exercise scenario,” Captain Goddard said.

Perth is participating in exercise TALISMAN SABER alongside other Royal Australian Navy vessels HMA Ships Choules, Sydney, Waller and Tarakan and helicopters from 816 and 808 Squadrons. Also involved in TALISMAN SABER is Spanish combat support ship ESPS Cantabria and ships from the US Navy’s 7th Fleet, including the USS George Washington aircraft carrier strike group and an expeditionary strike group led by Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard.

Exercise TALISMAN SABER will run from 15 July – 5 August, with around 28,000 Australian and US personnel taking part in the 21-day exercise being held in the Coral Sea and in military training areas in central and northern Queensland.

Supporting activities are also underway in the waters of the Timor and Arafura Seas, and throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Imagery is available on the Australian Defence Image Library at http://images.defence.gov.au/TS13-023.

PHOTEX: USS Mason and USS Bulkeley conduct UNREP with USNS Arctic

130726-N-LN619-217 ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 26, 2013) The guided-missile destroyers USS Mason (DDG 87) and USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) receive fuel from the Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Artic (T-AOE8) during a replenishment at sea. Mason and Bulkeley are deployed as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group and is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Preston Paglinawan/Released)

PHOTEX: HMAS Sirius conducts replenishment at sea with USS Bonhomme Richard

130718-N-VA915-124 CORAL SEA (July 18, 2013) The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the Australian Navy replenishment tanker HMAS Sirius (O 266). Bonhomme Richard is the flagship for the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and is participating in the biennial exercise Talisman Saber 2013 in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Jerome D. Johnson/Released)

Joint US-Australian combat logistics force supporting Talisman Saber 2013

This is a great story… except it would difficult to conduct a RAS with “light crusiers” HMAS Perth (D29) and HMAS Sydney (D48) because Perth was lost to Japanese torpedoes during the Battle of Sunda Strait in 1942 and Sydney was lost to a German raider in 1941.

Do you think it’s possible that the whoever compiled this MSC press release simply copied the wrong Perth & Sydney data from Wikipedia? No… that could never happen… could it? {groan}

The current HMAS Perth and HMAS Sydney are frigates.

Combat Logistics Force Ships underway for Talisman Saber exercise

Story Number: NNS130720-06Release Date: 7/20/2013 7:11:00 PM

CORAL SEA (NNS) — Navy Combat Logistics Force ships USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10), USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8) and USNS Yukon (T-AO 202) are steaming off the coast of northeastern Australia this week, providing vital logistics support to U.S. and Australian ships participating in Talisman Saber 2013.

Thousands of U.S. and Australian military forces took to the air, land, and sea in and around northeastern Australia for the two-week exercise. Operating as a Combined Joint Task Force, Talisman Saber 2013 focuses on combined operations, as well as responding to humanitarian emergencies or natural disasters. The exercise includes both live and computer-simulated scenarios.

CLF ships are shadowing vessels from the USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group and USS Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, which will conduct bilateral training with ships from the Royal Australian Navy.

USNS Charles Drew conducted its first underway replenishment operation with Australian fleet replenishment oiler HMAS Sirius (O-266) July 18. CLF ships are also scheduled to resupply Royal Australian Navy light cruisers HMAS Perth (D-29) and HMAS Sydney (D-48).

CLF ships’ role in the exercise will conclude July 29.

Personnel from Singapore based Military Sealift Command Far East’s logistics directorate work closely with counterparts from Australia’s navy throughout the exercise. MSCFE’s Combat Logistics Force officers – who operate a centralized, one-stop shop for Navy combat logistics force ships – manage the delivery of commodities to both U.S. Navy and Australian ships at sea.

Jointly sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Command and ADF headquarters Joint Operational Command, Talisman Saber 20l3 will incorporate U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, the ADF, as well as other government agencies from each country.

MSC operates approximately 110 noncombatant, U.S. Navy civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world, and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.

http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=75489

PHOTEX: USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187) conducts UNREP with USS Boxer (LHD-4)

130715-N-JP249-023 PACIFC OCEAN (July 15, 2013) Fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187) conducts a replenishment at sea with the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). Boxer is underway off the coast of Southern California conducting a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX). COMPTUEX is a scenario-driven exercise aimed at integrating the ships of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group through a series of live training events. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Kenan O’Connor/Released)

HMAS Newcastle conducts RAS in Gulf of Aden

HMAS Newcastle is one of the Royal Australian Navy’s Adelaide-class frigate, which is based on the US Navy’s Oliver Hazard Perry class. Six frigates were built between 1978 and 1992, with the first four built in the US and the remaining 2 built in Australia. As the aging class begins to decommission (Canberra in 2005 and Adelaide in 2008) they will be replaced by the Hobart-class air warfare destroyer.

HMAS Newcastle Replenishes at Sea in the Gulf of Aden

A heavy pallet of food stores being transfered via heavy jaskstay from USNS Patuxent to HMAS Newcastle.

HMAS Newcastle’s Ship’s Company has battled through 35-degree heat and 97-percent humidity to complete multiple replenishment operations with the United States Naval Service ship USNS Patuxent in the Gulf of Aden, in the Middle East Area of Operations.

Newcastle was supplied with 400,000 litres of F44 and F76 fuel during the four-hour Replenishment At Sea – Liquids (RAS-L).

The RAS-L involved a large fuelling hose being extended from Patuxent to Newcastle to transfer the fuel.

Thirty-eight pallets of stores, mostly fresh food, were then transferred from Patuxent to Newcastle by heavy jackstay.

Petty Officer Boatswain (POB) Francis Standen said “heavy jackstays” were an important seamanship skill to have on a warship and it was good for the crew to successfully complete the evolution while on operations.

“We don’t get to conduct heavy jackstay very often, so the experience was great for the whole crew,” he said.

“Everyone did really well and it was great to see the whole ship’s company working together to get the job done,” POB Standen said.

Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics – Supply Chain (LSML-SC) Sarah Hickling said the food stores transferred from Patuxent to Newcastle during the Heavy Jackstay would keep her crew fed for several weeks.

“We took on frozen meat, potatoes, strawberries, mandarines and all kinds of tinned, frozen and dry food. We also took on stores for our canteen. Overall, we took on enough food to last us another two to three weeks,” LSML-S Hickling said.

The evolutions allowed Newcastle to continue her mission at sea, without having to visit a port to refuel and resupply.

The Adelaide Class Guided Missile Frigate (FFG) will conduct more RAS evolutions during her deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO).

Newcastle was in the area participating in a counter terrorism focused operation as part of the multi-national Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150).

Patuxent is a non-commissioned United States Naval Service oiler assigned to the replenishment taskforce, CTF 53.

CTF 150 is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a 28-nation coalition based in Bahrain.

CTF 150’s Area of Operation (AOO) spans over two million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Oman. The task force exists to create a lawful and stable maritime environment free from terrorism, smuggling and other illegal activities.

Newcastle’s participation in CTF 150 is part of her assignment to Operation SLIPPER. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) contribution of a Major Fleet Unit in the Middle East Area of Operations as part of the international campaign against terrorism, counter smuggling and counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden, and enhancing regional maritime security and engagement.

Newcastle’s current deployment is the 55th rotation of an Australian warship to the MEAO since 1990. She is due to return to Australia in October, after handing over Operation SLIPPER duties to HMAS Melbourne.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20130651.