16.08.2013 Photographer: PO(Phot) Ray Jones - UK MoD
HMS Illustrious met up with the FS Somme today, a tanker from the French Navy, to conduct a Replenishment At Sea (RAS). This is where two ships sail at extremely close quarters, pass lines between the two of them, and then pump fuel across. Even though Lusty only sailed a few days ago, it is always prudent to take the opportunity to top up the tanks when possible. This was also a useful training evolution for both ships companies, and once again demonstrated interoperability between the Royal Navy and the French Navy.
HMS Illustrious is currently deployed on Cougar 13. Cougar is the annual deployment of the UK Armed Forces Maritime Response Force Task Group to the Mediterranean and East of Suez. The deployment serves to protect the free, safe and lawful use of the sea and to promote UK interests by developing international partnerships. Cougar allows the UK’s maritime assets to exercise with multinational forces in the Gulf region, enhancing our interoperability.