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Wave Knight on Deployment

RFA Wave Knight and German Ship
RFA Wave Knight and German Ship

RFA Wave Knight has had a busy three months since completing her AMP at the end of October 08. From the time she entered her new operating area, in the Gulf of Aden on 7th November, she has consistently proved herself to be a vital asset in the support of Maritime Security Operations primarily, supporting Commander Task Force (CTF) 150,  responsible for countering all forms of destabilising maritime activity, smuggling, terrorism and of course, piracy.

Of most note though, during this time, not only has she supported RN ships operating both nationally and as part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) or European Union (EU) operations, she has also epitomised the collaborative nature of maritime activity in the area by supporting the multinational forces also participating in these task forces.

In total, she has conducted 44 fuel replenishments and operated with 11 different aircraft with units from the United Kingdom, United States of America, Pakistan, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Greece and France, and has provided an essential service to the CMF, NATO and EU deployments within the region.

The deployment saw many twists and turns but the ship was always ready to step up to the plate and take on whatever was asked of her.  During November we took an unexpected detour to Mombassa on a fairly “unique” mission before returning North where we took the opportunity for a rare photex with our RN comrades; HMS Cumberland, HMS Northumberland and HMS Kent and conducted a multi-ship RAS. Wave Knight then made a short visit to Salalah in Oman from 24th to 28th November.

The early part of December saw Wave Knight operating in the Southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, once again replenishing various Warships from different nations and task groups.  Wave Knight is well suited to this work with the advantage of a good turn of speed allowing us to cover large areas and keep warships on-task rather than them coming to us.  The flight deck adds to our capability and vitally, being able to support a range of aircraft from the various contributing nations, extending their range of influence and endurance. 

Wave Knight then made a routine visit to Mombassa between 22nd and 27th December to pick up stores and relieve personnel.  Visits were paid to two local orphanages on Christmas morning with donations of toys, clothing and equipment provided through on board donations, which were gratefully received.

Having left Mombassa, we headed for Djibouti to load diesel on New Year’s Day and then resumed our tasking in the Gulf of Aden for a further 3 weeks.

Wave Knight’s operations have subtly shifted again and we are now primarily supporting the new Task Group (CTF 151), specifically countering piracy in the region, but also continuing to support the EU group and other coalition ships, by refuelling, whatever their task.  In addition, there are regular sightings of the Chinese Task Group and Indian warships providing a constant reminder to the international nature of the threat to maritime trade.