HMS Somerset conducted a Replenishment at Sea (RAS) with the USNS Laramie, topping up with fuel from the Command Task Force (CTF) 53 tanker before continuing getting on with her maritime security tasking east of Suez.
As HMS Somerset pulled close alongside USNS Laramie to transfer fuel, the warship flew the Duke of Somerset’s flag and received a welcome message from the US tanker over VHF radio.
With the RAS completed smoothly and efficiently, the ‘West Country’s favourite warship’ played its traditional end-of-RAS song, Captain of the Dredger by The Wurzels, over the ship’s main broadcast.
HMS Somerset’s Logistics Officer, Lieutenant Commander James Lancaster, said: “Keeping Somerset topped up with fuel, without leaving our operational area, requires planning followed by careful execution.
“This assures that we can remain on task for as long as necessary to achieve the mission.
“This replenishment was a good example of international collaboration within the logistically challenging operating area, where multiple nations are working together to ensure the security and safety of international waters.”
HMS Somerset is in the early stages of a six month operational deployment that will see her working with international partners to support counter piracy and maritime security operations across the Indian Ocean and Gulf Region.
CTF 53 is a US led logistics task force which operates within the Gulf, Red Sea, North Arabian Sea and portions of the Indian Ocean.
UK Royalnavy, February 6, 2014