USNS Laramie Refuels French Navy Ship in North Atlantic

By Travis Wagner, Public Affairs Officer Military Sealift Command Europe and Africa | Dec. 21, 2020


 In a partnership between U.S. and France, Military Sealift Command Henry J. Kaiser-class USNS Laramie (T-AO 203) completed a refueling-at-sea with Mistral-class LHD Dixmude (L9015) in the Atlantic Ocean, Dec. 10.

After returning from a deployment near West Africa, officials from the French Navy reached out to the U.S. Navy and asked if a vessel would be available to refuel Dixmude. Laramie was available and ready to respond.

“It was a beautiful crisp sunny day for operations in the North Atlantic,” said Second Officer Glen J. Weldon, Navigation and Operations Officer, USNS Laramie. “It is always a pleasure to have our French allies alongside!”

Refueling-at-sea with U.S. allies and partners not only fosters relations between the two nations, but also increases crew proficiencies on different setups. Ships have different types of refueling stations, so performing international operations are mutually beneficial to training crews.

"The refueling at sea carried out by the Laramie for the benefit of the Dixmude was a first,” said French Navy ASP CĂ©leste Guiho, Public Affairs Officer, LHD Dixmude. “With methods that differed from those used by the Dixmude and delicate wind conditions, this refueling was an opportunity to train the crew in complex maneuvers.”

U.S. and France share strong relations and are active NATO partners and work together to support maritime security around the world.

“France and the United States are strong allies and this demonstrates the commitment to our partnership and to the North Atlantic Treaty,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Frank Okata, Commodore, Military Sealift Command Europe and Africa and Commander, Task Force 63. “To the crews of USNS Laramie and LHD Dixmude, thank you for your continued excellence. This is a job well done.”

Laramie is a fleet replenishment oiler with a crew of around 75 civil-service mariners. It provides underway replenishment of fuel, fleet cargo and stores to customer ships at sea.

MSC exists to support the joint warfighter across the full spectrum of military operations. Logistics-based operations like these, which is an example of the partnership between two NATO nations, demonstrates the value of MSC to U.S. Navy and allied partners.