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RFA Leading Hands attend Training Centre in Virginia USA

22 February 2017
As part of the on-going interoperability initiative between the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) and the US Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) a team of three RFA Leading Hands recently undertook a training course at the MSC Underway Replenishment (UNREP) Training Centre in Virginia.

The Centre is located on the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek close to the Norfolk Naval Station - the largest naval base in the world, where MSC HQ is located.

The course undertaken was the NATO Probe refuelling maintenance course, which is not taught in the UK, and which will allow front line maintenance to be undertaken on defective refuelling probes rather than having to return them to the UK for repair using the reverse supply chain.

The three experienced Leading Hands (Deck) Kris Keith, Darren Perks, Michael Stroh were carefully chosen to gain maximum value from the course and in addition they will be able to impart the knowledge gained to other RFA personnel to widen the numbers able to undertake this important front line maintenance function.

It has been a great experience training together with our American colleagues.

Leading Hands Kris Keith

L/H Kris Keith commented, "This has been an excellent course that has given us a broader understanding of MSC and specifically the knowledge to go out into the RFA Flotilla and undertake front line maintenance on the RAS probes.

“It has been a great experience training together with our American colleagues."

As an additional benefit from the training, a work shop is being set up at HMS Sultan for the three trained Leading Hands to overhaul a number of defective probes that are already in the reverse supply chain awaiting repair. 

This will allow them to fully implement and practice the knowledge gained during the training and will also provide a significant cost saving to the MOD by having the overhaul work carried out by RFA personnel. 

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