Operation Atalanta’s Italian warship, ITS Espero, has conducted a replenishment at sea (RAS) with United States Navy Ship (USNS) Laramie. Conducting a RAS at sea enables EU NAVFOR warships to remain on patrol for longer periods to help deter potential pirate attacks and keep seafarers safe.
The US Navy and EU NAVFOR warships have maintained a close cooperation at sea since Operation Atalanta was launched back in 2008, with US Navy tankers providing critical sustainability to EU warships on a regular basis.
Conducting a replenishment at sea is a highly complex and potentially dangerous manoeuvre as the ships need to sail very close to each other in order to pass fuel and other supply lines between each other, so it is imperative that clear communications are established between all the ships taking part in the RAS.
Sailors on the ships also carry out rigorous training to ensure they know the role that they will each play during the RAS and importantly, what to do in the event of an emergency situation.