The Royal Australian Navy underway replenishment ship, HMAS Sirius (O 266) has reached a significant milestone, having recently completed her 600th replenishment at sea (RAS), in waters off Northern Australia, with HMAS Stuart (FFH 153) as the lucky recipient.
Commissioned into service in 2006, Sirius provides operational and strategic resupply of fuel when and where required.
Throughout her life, Sirius has passed more than a hundred and eight million litres of fuel to warships from many nations, allowing them to remain on station conducting extended tasks and operations without the need for shore facilities.
Sirius has developed a reputation as a capable ship, ready to support the surface fleet wherever it is needed.
Chief Petty Officer Marine Technical Ben Ladner who has had multiple postings to Sirius, said that this significant milestone was reached through a lot of hard work by past and present members of the ship’s company.
“I’ve seen many milestones in Sirius and each and every one of them has been achieved through tremendous dedication of a mission-focussed small team of sailors and officers,” CPO Ladner said. “The RAN has a very capable and reliable replenishment ship in Sirius, and will continue to do so for years to come.”
Rig Captain for the evolution, Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Alice Williams noted how special it was to conduct number 600 with Stuart.
“We have worked closely together with Stuart throughout the year and they are our number one customer,” LSBM Williams said.
“We supported each other during unit readiness training and recently completed a North East Asian deployment together.”
This year alone Sirius has connected underway with Stuart 21 times, passing close to two million litres of fuel.
For Stuart’s Commanding Officer, Commander Chris Leece, it was a poignant moment, likely being his last before handing over command in December.
“Replenishing from our West Australian home-ported sister ship was a fitting end to my command and our year,” CMDR Leece said. “The camaraderie formed between our ship’s companies is stronger than ever and I know it will continue into 2019 when the ships deploy together again.”
Able Seaman Communications Information Systems Tamati Smith, currently on loan to Sirius and serving at sea for the first time, described his participation in this RAS as a highlight of his short time onboard.
“It was a great honour to be involved in RAS number 600 noting it’s my first time posted to sea,” ABCIS Smith said. “I’ve seen and learnt so much in a short period and it’s been great fun.”
Sirius will soon head to Sydney for a maintenance period over Christmas-New Year before returning to sea for a busy 2019 where they will continue ‘To Serve and Provide’.
LCDR Janiszewski and LEUT Gilkinson/ RAN