October 22, 2021

RFA Wave Knight to visit Grand Cayman

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The Naval Support Ship RFA WAVE KNIGHT will arrive in Grand Cayman on 2 February for a 4 day visit during her deployment to the region on Atlantic Patrol Tasking North (APT(N)). This is a year round commitment to the region in support of Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) and Counter Narcotics Operations.

During WAVE KNIGHT’s visit the Commanding Officer will call on The Governor and The Deputy Governor; the Commanding Officer will host an onboard business luncheon; an onboard evening reception and will provide technical support to the RCIPS Marine Unit.

WAVE KNIGHT has loaded Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) and UK Department for International Development (DfID) stores to support relief operations in the region. Prior to deployment the ship’s company of WAVE KNIGHT completed a HADR training package which tested and developed the ship’s company’s ability to plan and deliver support to relief operations.

RFA Wave Knight made headlines in November when a Royal Marines sniper shot out the engine of a drug traffickers’ speedboat – bringing a six-hour chase across the Caribbean to an end and dealing a £40m blow to the smugglers.

RFA WAVE KNIGHT is a 31,500 tonne Fleet Tanker which has the ability to refuel other naval vessels at sea from its three beam rigs and one stern rig as well as carrying dry stores.

Speaking of the visit the Ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain Nigel Budd said “My Ship’s Company and I are very much looking forward to the visit and to making and remaking relationships whilst being able to liaise with Disaster Management authorities regarding our capabilities.”

1. RFA Wave Knight (A389) is a Wave Knight-class Fast Fleet Tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. She was launched in 2000 and accepted into service in 2003. She is the second ship to bear this name in RFA Service. Wave Knight and her sister, RFA Wave Ruler, replaced the elderly Olna and Olwen, 36, 000 ton fast fleet tankers built at Swan Hunter and Hawthorn Leslie respectively in the 1960s.

2. The ships is crewed by 77 Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel and supported by 5 Royal Naval personnel for helicopter and weapons systems operations.

3. RFA Wave Knight is able to operate in support of amphibious forces, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare operations and protection of vital sea areas and shipping.

4. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Service is a flotilla of 13 Naval Support Ships delivering afloat support to UK and Allied Armed Forces around the world. Owned by the Ministry of Defence, it is manned by British civilian sailors who are trained to Merchant Navy Standards prior to undertaking the military training required to operate alongside the Royal Navy.

5. Founded in 1905, the modern RFA is an essential element of the how the Royal Navy operates with freedom around the globe and is fully integrated into frontline groups of warships at sea and naval headquarters ashore.

6. The RFA supports a wide spectrum of operations from high tempo upthreat war-fighting to counter-piracy, disaster relief, counter-narcotics, law enforcement and evacuation operations. Perhaps best remembered for its role in the 1982 Falklands Conflict with the loss of RFA SIR GALAHAD, the RFA’s primary roles are:

  1. Underway replenishment at sea of fuel, stores and ammunition;
  2. Logistic and specialist shipping support to amphibious operations;
  3. Operating support platforms for Naval Aviation;
  4. Medical support and casualty handling;
  5. Logistic support to submarines;
  6. Operating a forward repair ship facility for battle damaged ships;
  7. Regional engagement in support of UK political, economic and military objectives;
  8. Maritime surveillance, security and policing.
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