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Royal Navy

'Final piece of the jigsaw' in place as RFA Tideforce completes UK's new tanker fleet

30 July 2019

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary saw its numbers bolstered as RFA Tideforce – the last of four new-generation tankers – was welcomed into the Fleet.

A service of dedication was held in Dorset for the 39,000-tonne ship – second only in size to the UK's two new aircraft carriers.

RFA Tideforce will now join her sister ships Tidespring, Tiderace and Tidesurge in providing fuel at sea to Royal Navy, NATO and allied warships, as well as other supplies and fresh water when required.

The service at Portland was attended by the tanker's sponsor Lady Sarah Messenger and her Royal Marine husband, former Vice Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Gordon Messenger.

Lady Messenger received flowers from Molly Richardson and Emily Noctor – the daughter and stepdaughter of naval diver Petty Officer Mark Richardson.

Other VIP guests included Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd and Lord Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell.

After receiving military equipment – communications and IT systems, defensive weaponry – fitted in Falmouth to turn a tanker into a naval tanker and extensive trials, Tideforce recently arrived in Portland to be official accepted into operational service.

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