The crew of HMAS Stalwart has successfully conducted the ship’s first replenishment at sea, marking a milestone after just a short time in service.
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HMAS Parramatta received HMAS Stalwart’s padded fuel line for its first replenishment at sea.
According to commanding officer of Stalwart, Commander Steve McCracken, the evolution signalled that Stalwart was “open for business”.
“There’s been a lot of hard work and training leading up to this point and the entire ship’s company is incredibly proud of what we have achieved.
“Today, we have successfully proved a number of vital systems that all come together in performing a replenishment at sea, from ship-handling to the actual transfer of supplies, and it’s a credit to all involved that the evolution went so well,” CMDR McCracken said.
The second Royal Australian Navy supply Class auxiliary oiler replenishment ship, Stalwart’s main role is to provide logistics replenishment to naval combat units at sea.
The ship is expected to complete a number of tasks with conducting a replenishment at sea, CMDR McCracken further explained as part of its progress towards operational capability and integration into the fleet.
“Since commissioning, we have undergone a number of sea trials and training that test and evaluate the entire range of systems used to keep a ship at sea and at the top of its game,” CMDR McCracken said.
“I’m pleased to report that Stalwart has risen to each of these challenges in admirable fashion and I thank my ship’s company for all their hard work over the past few months.”
This enables the ships to integrate more fully in a task group, both Australian and internationally, as the new ships are equipped with a combat management system designed to improve “sharing of information” with other ADF and allied assets. Additionally, the new ships can also increase the joint force endurance by providing fuel, water, food, parts and dry cargo which represents a generational shift from the capability provided by previous support ships.
HMAS Stalwart’s home port is Fleet Base West, Rockingham, Western Australia.