Royal Fleet auxiliary ship returns to Fife after seven months at sea

Royal Fleet auxiliary ship, RFA Fort Victoria, has returned to Fife after a 195-day deployment with the Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group.

By Allan Crow
Monday, 13th December 2021, 12:19 pm

The 33,675-tonne ship arrived back at Defence Munitions (DM) Crombie in the west of the Kingdom on Sunday.

During its seven-month deployment, it steamed just under 40,000 miles, crossed the equator, had four port visits, transferred 27,000 tonnes of fuel and 350 tonnes of ammunition, food, spares and provisions while underway at sea.

Speaking of the Carrier Strike Group deployment, Commanding Officer of RFA Fort Victoria Captain Chris Clarke said: “RFA Fort Victoria has proven that she is an indispensable part of the Carrier Strike Group.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, RFA Fort Victoria, carrying out a replenishment at sea (Pic: Jay Allen)

“She and other RFAs are the means by which the Royal Navy has the flexibility to manoeuvre and sustain itself to potentially strike at a time and place of its own choosing.”

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Captain Clarke and his 120-strong crew on board Fort Victoria set off from the Fife depot in late April.

She, and her sister vessel RFA Tidespring, joined the Carrier Strike Group for operations in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary allows vessels the ability to stay at sea for long periods by replenishing stores of fuel, ammunition, food and other essentials while remaining on the oceans.

“Crombie is, in many ways, RFA Fort Victoria’s spiritual home,” said Captain Clarke. “That’s why it is entirely fitting that after a long and arduous deployment away from the UK, we’ve returned to the welcoming atmosphere of this depot where we set out from earlier in the year.”

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