HMAS Sirius has proved invaluable during her current international deployment, not only to the Australian ships in the task group but to multiple partner nations, which benefited from the reliable and efficient replenishment support Australia’s only tanker provides.

The replenishment oiler has refuelled ships from Japan, Singapore, Canada, South Korea and the United States, during the Regional Presence Deployment through South-East Asia and the Pacific.

Commanding Officer Sirius Commander Sam Woolrych said his team had been particularly busy during Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), where Sirius was one of two tankers providing support.

“There are 22 ships from 10 nations participating in RIMPAC, and we have shown our value in helping to keep these ships fuelled and resourced so they can complete the exercises,” Commander Woolrych said.

“With this year’s RIMPAC being an all-sea exercise due to COVID-19 precautions, it is even more critical that replenishment tankers like Sirius are here to support so all participating ships can get the most training from the exercise.” 

Sub-Lieutenant Nicholas Seton, Assistant Maritime Engineering Officer, said the ship was living up to its motto of “to serve and provide”.

“It is clear that Sirius is providing essential support across the task group to all nations involved,” Sub-Lieutenant Seton said.

“It’s been interesting to work with other countries, and every nation operates slightly differently. This deployment has shown us that despite slight differences in how we do business, all the RIMPAC nations trust and respect each other, and it is amazing to see how smoothly and safely Sirius can refuel ships from any partner nation.”

The RAN’s replenishment ship is crucial to overseas deployments, offering operational support for the fleet by providing fuel, stores and ammunition and significantly extending the Navy’s operational reach and endurance at sea.

Commander of the Australian Maritime Task Group and Commander of Task Force 1 at RIMPAC, Captain Phillipa Hay, said Sirius was the true lifeblood of RIMPAC.

“RIMPACs replenishment ships Sirius and USNS Henry J Kaiser demonstrate our ability to sustain a force at sea, which sets us apart from other maritime forces from around the world,” Captain Hay said.

Sirius has been joined on deployment by HMA Ships Hobart, Stuart and Arunta.