The arrival in theatre of RFA Fort Victoria has been seamless and, within a very short time, she has provided outstanding support to all ships.

Lt Cdr David Noon

Slotting neatly into this force – which includes US Combat Logistics Force ships, Strategic Sealift, Special Mission ships and logistics aircraft – Fort Vic is working hard to maintain the great reputation the Royal Fleet Auxiliary has earned over many years in the region.

The ship has just completed a multi-million-pound refit in Dubai which will help to carry her through to the end of a four-year deployment east of Suez.

Fort Vic carries a mix of ‘wet’ (fuel for ships and aircraft, water) and ‘dry’ (food, spare parts, ammunition) stores; she’s officially classed as a Fleet Replenishment Ship – we call her a ‘one-stop’ supply ship, a sort of floating supermarket meeting all the Navy’s needs.

There is always an RFA vessel assigned to CTF53, and during her four-month attachment to the force Fort Vic’s predecessor Wave Ruler was in constant demand.

The tanker clocked up more than 27,000 miles, as she sailed to meet up with coalition ships for 52 replenishments at sea (better known by every sailor simply as a ‘RAS’).

In doing so the tanker delivered 2.9 million gallons of marine fuel – enough to fill the tanks of nearly a quarter of million Ford Focuses… if they ran on marine fuel – an 119,000 gallons of aviation fuel (sufficient for a ‘mere’ 10,200 Ford Focuses…).

“The service provided by RFA Wave Ruler was first-class,” said Lt Cdr David Noon, the only non-American on the staff of CTF53; he sorts out the logistical requirements for all non-US ships.

“Whenever I received a request for a RAS from any non-US ship, the requesting unit always sought Wave Ruler.

"The arrival in theatre of RFA Fort Victoria has been seamless and, within a very short time, she has provided outstanding support to all ships."

Not that Fort Victoria is simply a ‘one-trick pony’ delivering supplies. Last year she was the flagship of a highly-successful Royal Navy/Royal Marines counter-piracy surge.

And in a couple of months she’ll be repeating that mission – to a degree. This time she’ll be home to a battle staff from the Singaporean Navy as they take the reins of CTF151, the dedicated pirate-busting force in the Indian Ocean and off the Horn of Africa.