HMAS Supply (II) was welcomed into Royal Australian Navy service on April 10 during a commissioning ceremony at Fleet Base East in Sydney.
The first of two new Supply-class auxiliary oiler replenishment ships, Supply is a welcome boost to the fleet’s operational support capability.
Commanding Officer Captain Ben Hissink said the 173 crew members were proud to serve on such a strategically important new platform.
“We celebrated the commissioning of a critical support capability that will help extend the endurance of our task groups and Navy’s ability to protect all Australians,” Captain Hissink said.
“We follow in the footsteps of Supply (I) that fuelled our seafarers with good oil in good spirit, but now we do so again with additional logistics and combat capabilities.”
Supply and her incoming sister ship, NUSHIP Stalwart, will carry fuel, water, food, parts and dry cargo for the replenishment of Australian and regional partner ships while under way at sea, and to aid in humanitarian and disaster relief when called upon.
They also have a combat management system, advancing capability over the previous support ships, HMA Ships Success and Sirius.
Supply’s youngest crew member Seaman Claire Lissimore, who cut the commissioning cake with Captain Hissink, said she was excited to serve in Navy’s most contemporary ship.
“I feel proud to have been an active part of the ceremony and to be posted to a first-of-class ship,” Seaman Lissimore said.
“Experiencing the commissioning process with a progressive crew has been very exciting, especially coming straight out of a small town high school to join the Navy and subsequently Supply just last year.”
At the ceremony, Captain Hissink said the valiant effort of the crew to bring together Navy and Australian histories had progressed a culture of confidence that would ensure they effectively met the needs of those they serve.
“This commissioning day signifies a joining of history and our vision of ‘one ship many stories’,” Captain Hissink said.
“Connecting Supply (I)’s legacy with the stories and history of our First Nation's people has prepared our crew to take on our duties as drifting protectors – providing for and protecting our families, our community and our nation.
“As we face our first-of-class sea trials we take these histories on: the Navy traditions that ground us, and the community and protection ideals instilled through our ship’s Indigenous artwork and main passageway, The Bundian Way.
“These two legacies, combined with the power of our new capabilities, strengthens us in all we do and creates a bright future to move together into.”
Now commissioned, Supply will begin the next phase of first-of-class sea trials and integration into the fleet.