With 32 years of service behind her, HMAS Success is at sea for her 11th and final Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) in Hawaii.
The auxiliary oiler – also known as Navy’s ‘Battle Tanker’ – sailed from Pearl Harbor along with HMA Ships Adelaide, Melbourne and Toowoomba for the sea phase of RIMPAC off the Hawaiian coast.
Now in its 26th iteration, RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise.
Success first participated in RIMPAC 30 years ago, providing combat support to warships from around the world in the form of fuel and supplies, extending their range and sustainability for weeks at a time.
Success Commanding Officer Commander Grant Zilko said that although it was bittersweet for Success to take part in her last RIMPAC, he was proud of the ship’s readiness to participate after already being at sea since March.
“Success has a longstanding association with Exercise RIMPAC and to be here for her last appearance is really special,” he said.
“Having already recently conducted a South East Asian Deployment and Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2018, my ship’s company is looking forward to finishing on a high note by doing what we do best: replenishing and integrating with our international partners.”
Leading Seaman Boatswain’s Mate Anthony King said berthing next to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson put the scale of RIMPAC into perspective.
“Knowing that Success is one of the bigger ships we have and seeing how the Carl Vinson dwarfs us is mind-blowing.”
“RIMPAC has always been a deployment I’ve wanted to do since I joined the Navy.”
“I’ve done other exercises and RIMPAC is one of the most exciting ones to be able to take part in.”
Success began RIMPAC having completed 3300 replenishments throughout her operational history, and will significantly add to this number before the end of the exercise.
She previously attended RIMPAC in 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2014.
Success and her crew will return home to Fleet Base East in Sydney in late August.