RFA Argus Fights Ebola in Sierra Leone

The presence of Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship RFA Argus is already being felt in Sierra Leone, one of the countries worst affected by Ebola.

Within minutes of her arrival crew members were already unloading Department for International Development stores and 32 off road vehicles which are now being used by the Government of Sierra Leone and charities up and down the country.

Her three embarked Merlin Mk2 helicopters, from 820 Naval Air Squadron have flown more than 50 hours of Operation Gritrock tasking transporting essential stores and medical personnel to remote locations.

While Royal Marines from 42 Commando and 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines have been travelling the densely forested coastline in their landing craft gathering information from local people and identifying potential beach landing sites.

Captain David Eagles, Commanding Officer of RFA Argus, said:

The UK has made clear its commitment to fighting and containing Ebola and the deployment of RFA Argus is just one element in this campaign. Our primary role is to deliver transportation and logistical support for the medical teams and experts working in Sierra Leone – a role we began upon arrival.

Argus arrived in Freetown on October 30 carrying nearly 400 personnel – a mixture of Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force.

Eighty of these come from 820 Naval Air Squadron, based at RNAS Culdrose, in Cornwall.

Not only is Argus playing a logistical role but also a medical role assisting in the care of the more than 800 British Armed Forces personnel deployed in Sierra Leone, as well as entitled UK Government employees.

RFA Argus has sufficient stores onboard to remain at sea for several months and is also able to produce her own fresh water.

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Press release, Image: UK Navy