RFA Fort Victoria and HMS Duncan have completed a Replenishment at Sea by Merlin helicopter.
While the event is quite common, it’s reporting is part of an effort to show the essential role performed by the RFA in keeping the Royal Navy able to deploy globally.
RFA Fort Victoria is a Fort class combined fleet stores ship and tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary of the United Kingdom tasked with providing ammunition, fuel, food and other supplies to Royal Navy vessels around the world. The vessel has been busy in the Gulf providing fuel, stores and ammunition to ships of the Royal Navy enabling them to continue operations away from the UK.
Building on the success of the VERTREP (Vertical Replenishment) and to maximise the opportunity of working with RFA Fort Victoria, the Merlin team then performed a series of deck landings and aviation training serials.
Captain Stephen Norris said:
“This was a perfect demonstration of why the RFA is so important for maritime capability. It is very satisfying to know that because of the fuel and the stores we have provided, HMS Duncan is able to continue her current operations without interruption.”
During a 2012 deployment, US helicopter squadron HSM-77 Detachment Five completed a temporary operational rotation on board the Fort Victoria which was serving as the flagship for Combined Task Force 151. This was the first time that a MH-60R helicopter had ever operated from a Royal Navy ship.
HMS Duncan is currently working with British allies performing maritime security operations in the Gulf.