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NEWS | Dec. 20, 2023

6th Fleet oiler empowers NATO Allied Navies

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Public Affairs

The Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship, USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12), conducted a replenishment-at-sea (RAS) with the Italian Carlo Bergamini-class frigates, Carlo Bergamini (F 590) and Virginio Fasan (F 591), Dec. 14, 2023.

During the RAS, the ships received fuel and stores in order to continue their tasks. The two Italian ships are part of different task groups within the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 construct. Bergamini is currently the flag ship of the NATO operation Noble Shield, while Fasan is the flag ship of CTG 425.03.

RAS is a complex maneuver that requires accurate planning, precise execution and highly professional seamanship, and every successful RAS is an achievement by all the ships involved. NATO Allies and partners share this unique capability to be able to replenish food, fuel, and other necessary supplies during any operation, in any environment, no matter which navy is receiving these vital supplies.

The RAS maneuver demonstrated the interoperability and shared capabilities that allied navies have reached, continuing to exercise and train together, improving and sharing their doctrine, and building new knowledge, little by little, based on lessons identified and lessons learned in everyday maritime operations.

For over 80 years, NAVEUR-NAVAF has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. 6th Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.