Royal Australian Navy HMAS Brisbane (D 41) and United States Navy Military Sealift Command replenishment oiler USNS Rappahannock conducted two replenishments at sea (RAS) within a week during Exercise Talisman Sabre 21 (TS21). This was the first time the Australian Hobart-class destroyer had conducted the critical logistics task since she commissioned into service in 2018. Brisbane’s navigator Lieutenant Marita Knack said the serial’s success was a testament to the ability of the crews of the ships to operate as a single unit in exchanging fuel at sea.
A replenishments at sea is a whole-of-ship activity that can take up to two-and-a-half hours. It involves personnel from across the ship’s company – from medics and chefs to combat systems operators, electronics and marine technicians, and boatswains – who are required to work seamlessly as a team for the duration of the RAS. Brisbane’s unofficial band played on the upper decks during both RAS evolutions with the aim of boosting morale between the Australian and American crews. TS21 is the biggest bilateral training activity between the two nations.
Able Seaman Jacob Hodge was among those participating in the RAS and said,“ it was a memorable experience. A RAS is generally between a supplying and receiving ship to deliver fuel, ammunition and general stores at sea rather than having to go alongside. It was a fantastic experience to conduct the first international RAS-L [fuel]) aboard Brisbane since her commissioning, and continue to grow and develop our partnership between the two nations.”
“Brisbane conducted RAS approaches as well as seamanship training in order to set up the conduct of the replenishment with USNS Rappahannock. It was quite exciting for the crew to actually put this training into practice and conduct Brisbane’s first-ever international RAS during TS21,” Lieutenant Knack said.
HMAS Brisbane (DDG 41), named after the city of Brisbane, Queensland, is the second ship of the Hobart-class air warfare destroyers used by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The ship was built at ASC’s shipyard in Osborne, South Australia from modules fabricated by ASC, BAE Systems Australia in Victoria, and Forgacs Group in New South Wales. She was laid down on 3 February 2014 and launched on 15 December 2016. Brisbane commenced sea trials in November 2017. She was handed over to the RAN on 27 July 2018. Brisbane was commissioned on 27 October 2018.
Brisbane will provide air defence for accompanying ships in addition to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas, and for self-protection against missiles and aircraft. The Aegis Combat System incorporating the state-of-the-art phased array radar, AN/SPY 1D(V), in combination with the SM-2 missile, will provide an advanced air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150km. Brisbane will also conduct Undersea Warfare and be equipped with modern sonar systems, decoys, surface-launched torpedoes and an array of effective close-in defensive weapons.