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October 10, 2013 www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS
SBLT Rachel Jones
HMAS Newcastle renewed its friend-
ship with British replenishment ship
RFA Fort Victoria on August 13.
In May, Newcastle's first replenish-
ment at sea (RAS) in the MEAO was
with Fort Victoria and the ships met
again in the Arabian Sea to mark the
start of the second half of Newcastle's
Operation Slipper deployment.
This was Newcastle's first RAS
since completing the ship's mainte-
nance period in Dubai.
With the ship having recently
received promotional stickers for the
International Fleet Review, the RAS
provided the opportunity to 'zap'
Fort Victoria's fuelling nozzle to
help promote the event, occurring in
Newcastle's home port.
ABBM Shane Cording worked
with the dump party.
"I was given the sticker, I guess
because we will all miss the event. So
when the nozzle was safely secured, I
put it on Fort Victoria's fuelling probe
before we started pumping.
"It will give them something to
remember us by," he said.
Members of the ship's mari-
time logistics department were also
involved in the RAS by hauling on the
ABML-S John Baguio said the
evolution was a good way to get back
into the swing of things.
"Even though it is hot, it's still
enjoyable to get out there and get
involved," he said.
"While the RAS was going on we
also had flying evolutions transferring
people from one ship to the other; it
was all happening."
ABCIS Carissa Andrews was on
headset on Newcastle's bridge and
communicated with Fort Victoria dur-
ing the replenishment.
"I love hearing the different accents
and this deployment has bought many
of those," AB Andrews said.
"Newcastle has done quite a few
her fill in the Arabian Sea
RAS evolutions now, but this was the
first I was involved with. It's always
more exciting when you have never
done it before."
POMT Reuben Matthias was on
the upper decks as part of the fuelling
party as almost 300,000 litres of diesel
were transferred to Newcastle's fuel
"Even though it was quite hot, the
breeze was nice and it made a nice
change from the engine room," PO
SBLT Mathew Stobo, one of
Newcastle's officers of the watch, said
there were dolphins on Fort Victoria's
bow during the replenishment.
"Being part of the bridge team,
we need to ensure not only our safety
during the RAS, but also ensure that
we don't endanger the environment,
including aquatic creatures," SBLT
"All was fine today and the dol-
phins had fun surfing Fort Victoria's
A member of the ship's medical
team, ABMED Lauren Nicholl, was on
duty throughout the activity.
"It's always nice to get outside and
make sure that everything and every-
one is safe," she said.
"A RAS can be a very dangerous
evolution and I am here to make sure
aid can be given straight away if the
MEET AGAIN: HMAS Newcastle and RFA Fort Victoria conduct a replenishment.
Photo: LS Corey Wright
SBLT Rachel Jones
WHILE operating together in the
Gulf of Aden, HMAS Newcastle
and RFA Fort Victoria conducted a
cross-deck for six sailors.
Assistant marine engineering
officer LEUT Gareth Giles cross-
decked to Fort Victoria for the day
and said it was good to see the
replenishment from a different point
"What is also interesting is the
differences between how the RAN
and RFA operate," LEUT Giles said.
"The amount of space they have
"I was taken on a detailed tour
and it was difficult to come back to
Newcastle after seeing the single cab-
ins with en suites and the living con-
ditions experienced on a RFA vessel."
LSMT Mathew Bland, ABET
Jerrad Comber, ABCSO Adam
O'Brien, ABML-P Laura Johnson
and ABBM Troy Bennett also vis-
ited Fort Victoria.
LS Bland was taken on a tour
of the junior sailors' dining and liv-
ing areas as well as the engineering
"It was such an amazing day and
something I will never forget," LS
"It was so interesting to see how
other sailors live and how their ship
operates. The helicopter ride over
there was also a first for me."
Newcastle in turn hosted sev-
eral officers and sailors from Fort
Victoria including medical officer
LEUT Louise McMenemy.
Newcastle's medical offic-
er, LEUT Natalie Boulton, took
LEUT McMenemy on a tour of
"The visit gave both of us the
opportunity to share professional
experiences and foster an under-
standing of how we could assist
each other if the need should arise,"
LEUT Boulton said.
Boarding officer and officer of
the watch LEUT Alec Fieldsend
hosted two RFA maritime warfare
"They were interested in talking
about the cricket, funnily enough,"
LEUT Fieldsend said.
"I took them up and showed them
what a warship's bridge looked like.
"They both enjoyed the experi-
ence, the opportunity to see how we
do business and observe a replenish-
ment from the customer's point of
Sailors' change of view
and AB Adam
ready for a
transfer to RFA
Photo: POEW Ben
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