RFA Tidesurge replenishes US destroyer

ONE of the RFA’s new tankers has replenished an Arleigh Burke destroyer for what we believe to be a first for the class.

RFA Tidesurge met up with the USS Donald Cook in the mid-Atlantic shortly after completing Exercise Joint Warrior 19-2.

The tanker is the third of her class with younger sister Tideforce currently deployed as part of the HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group off the Eastern Seaboard of the USA.

Tidesurge’s operations officer, First Officer Duncan MacColl, said: "Over the past couple of months RFA Tidesurge has consistently displayed the advanced capability and flexibility of the Tide Class in support of Flag Officer Sea Training on the south coast, before heading north as one of 14 ships participating in the multi-national Exercise Joint Warrior and Griffin Strike off the west coast of Scotland.

“Tidesurge was required to deal with air, surface and sub-surface attacks during the exercise." 

The photographs were taken from a Merlin Mk2 from 814 NAS. 

Over the past three weeks we have partaken in Exercise Joint Warrior 19-2, sharpening our warfighting teeth in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare roles, switching quickly to transfer personnel and then back into operational tasking to support USS Donald Cook.

Flight Commander Lieutenant Tom Wallis

Flight Commander Lieutenant Tom Wallis said: “It is great to be able to show the flexibility of the Tide-class with an embarked Merlin Mk2, and the significant operational capability that this combination provides. 

“Over the past three weeks we have partaken in Exercise Joint Warrior 19-2, sharpening our warfighting teeth in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare roles, switching quickly to transfer personnel and then back into operational tasking to support USS Donald Cook.

“This is only possible through the dedication of the crew of RFA Tidesurge, 814 NAS, 1700 NAS and the Fleet Hydrographic and Meteorology Unit, and our ability to exercise and operate efficiently and at very high readiness. 

“It is always a pleasure to embark in such a capable, efficient and smooth-running unit.”

In addition to their supply duties in support of the Royal Navy, the Tides also undertake a wide range of maritime operations, such as constabulary patrols policing shipping lanes, humanitarian relief, as well as providing support to NATO and coalition allies.

The guided missile destroyer, the 25th of the Arleigh Burke class, operates out of Naval Station Rota in Spain as part of a European defence scheme.