1 August 2012: ENDEAVOUR at RIMPAC
HMNZS TE KAHA and HMNZS ENDEAVOUR sailed from the Port of Honolulu on Thursday 12 July for the sea phases of Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. The next three weeks went by faster than anyone could have imagined, so intensive were each day’s activities.
ENDEAVOUR operated as part of Task Force 173, the Afloat Logistics Taskforce. She was four replenishment vessels that kept the RIMPAC fleet supplied at sea. For much of RIMPAC, she was assigned to Replenishment At Sea (RAS) Patrol Box 3 to the south-west of Oahu Island. When not required to refuel vessels she moved to a patrol station to the west of Oahu to conduct internal training.
In order to maintain a sufficient stock of cargo fuel onboard to issue to other ships, ENDEAVOUR was herself refuelled at sea by larger tankers.
ENDEAVOUR’s CO, Commander Keith Robb, describes one RAS: “We rendezvoused with the USS CHAFEE and the frigate USS CROMMELIN. In less then ideal weather conditions CHAFEE came alongside and connected up, however, halfway through the refuelling operation, the hose disconnected and the refuelling was abandoned. Not deterred USS CROMMELIN came alongside and connected up but again the weather and sea state provided to be much and CROMMELIN was unable to refuel. CROMMELIN returned the next day and in much improved weather conditions CROMMELIN was successfully refuelled. “
In addition to US ships ENDEAVOUR also refuelled the Canadian frigate HMCS OTTAWA as well as the Korean destroyer ROKS. In one spectacular double-RAS, ENDEAVOUR refuelled TE KAHA and CHOI YOUNG simultaneously.
“Although almost every RAS ENDEAVOUR conducted was history making for us, the highlights for most were the replenishments with the large US cruisers of the Ticonderoga Class,” said CDR Robb “These heavy-armed ships are some 35 metres longer then ENDEAVOUR with a displacement almost as much as ENDEAVOUR. “
Picture: HMNZS ENDEAVOUR performing a double RAS (replenishment at sea) refuelling both HMNZS TE KAHA (left) and South Korean ship ROKS CHOI YOUNG (right) simultaneously during Ex RIMPAC.