Operation Atalanta’s warships are deployed off the coast of Somalia to ensure pirate attacks that terrorised seafarers in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden for a number of years are not allowed to resurge.
In order to ensure that the EU NavFor warships are able to maintain their counter-piracy patrols for longer periods, the ships top up fuel and other essential stores, such as food, by conducting Replenishment at Sea (RAS).
Operation Atalanta’s German tanker, FGS Spessart, recently rendezvoused at sea with flagship, FGS Bayern, and Italian warship, ITS Euro, to conduct a RAS.
Refuelling one ship is a complicated manoeuvre that requires focused communication and high levels of skill from the crews involved. When a third ship is added to the mix, the manoeuvre becomes even more complex and safety concerns increase.
After the RAS procedure was safely and successfully completed, the EU Naval Force’s ships returned to duties to deter and disrupt the piracy threat off the Somali coast.
During a recent multi-ship RAS, all four Operation Atalanta ships sailed together.