Australian Navy replenishes allied ships fighting pirates off African east coast


The Royal Australian Navy oiler, HMAS Success, is now in its fourth month of deployment in the Gulf of Aden/Indian Ocean and has joined up with the NATO naval force in the gulf.

Prior to becoming part of the Operation Ocean Shield fleet, one of Success’ last taskings was replenishment at sea (RAS) with HNLMS Johan de Witt, flagship of the EU naval force off the coast of Somalia.

During the RAS, Rear Admiral Jonas Haggren, EUNavFor Commander for Operation Atalanta, made a personal call on the Australian vessel. He was it was an opportunity not only to express appreciation for the work done by the oiler but also to exchange idea and experiences as regards joint efforts to combat piracy.

The Australian vessel, under the command of Captain Justin Jones, has a multi-role tasking in the area.
“We flexibly assign between Task Force 53, the logistics function responsible for replenishing all allied ships in the area, and Combined Task Force 150. Most of the ships we have replenished so far have been from EU Naval Force and I think it is partly due to their area of operations which happen to coincide with our patrolling area. I think it is indicative of the nature of naval co-operation and it is evident in this region. We have a number of task forces and independent deployers through the region and we on HMAS Success are happy to support them,” he said.

During its support to Operation Ocean Shield, success and its crew of 235 will contribute to partnership with counter-piracy forces in the region through RAS and combined training, while patrolling in the area of operations. In addition to its RAS capabilities, the ship has an embarked helicopter and boarding team that will contribute to counter piracy deterrence.

Success’ tour of duty in the Gulf of Aden/Indian Ocean ends in May.