Sierra Leone Update

Two items of news to add to the previous post

RFA Argus Stops at Gibraltar En Route

On her way to , RFA Argus stopped at Gibraltar to take on board 32 pickup trucks for use when she arrives.

Thirty two off road vehicles, supplied by DfID, being loaded onto RFA Argus in Gibraltar. The vehicles will now be shipped to Sierra Leone where they will be used to transport equipment and personnel who are dealing with the Ebola outbreak.
Thirty two off road vehicles, supplied by DfID, being loaded onto RFA Argus in Gibraltar. The vehicles will now be shipped to Sierra Leone where they will be used to transport equipment and personnel who are dealing with the outbreak.
Thirty two off road vehicles, supplied by DfID, being loaded onto RFA Argus in Gibraltar. The vehicles will now be shipped to Sierra Leone where they will be used to transport equipment and personnel who are dealing with the Ebola outbreak.
Thirty two off road vehicles, supplied by DfID, being loaded onto RFA Argus in Gibraltar. The vehicles will now be shipped to Sierra Leone where they will be used to transport equipment and personnel who are dealing with the Ebola outbreak.
Thirty two off road vehicles, supplied by DfID, being loaded on RFA Argus in Gibraltar.
Thirty two off road vehicles, supplied by DfID, being loaded on RFA Argus in Gibraltar.
Thirty two off road vehicles, supplied by DfID, being loaded on RFA Argus in Gibraltar. The vehicles will now be shipped to Sierra Leone where they will be used to transport equipment and personnel who are dealing with the Ebola outbreak.
Thirty two off road vehicles, supplied by DfID, being loaded on RFA Argus in Gibraltar. The vehicles will now be shipped to Sierra Leone where they will be used to transport equipment and personnel who are dealing with the Ebola outbreak.
RFA Argus arrives at HMNB Gibraltar en-route to Sierra Leone as part of the UK's response to the Ebola epidemic. On arrival RFA Argus was loaded with Toyota vehicles and addition supplies, she will now continue her journey and play a vital role in transporting medical teams and equipment as well as assisting experts deployed to help tackle the Ebola epidemic. The deployment is expected to last up yto 6 months.
RFA Argus arrives at HMNB Gibraltar en-route to Sierra Leone as part of the UK’s response to the Ebola epidemic. On arrival RFA Argus was loaded with Toyota vehicles and addition supplies, she will now continue her journey and play a vital role in transporting medical teams and equipment as well as assisting experts deployed to help tackle the Ebola epidemic. The deployment is expected to last up to 6 months.
RFA Argus arrives at HMNB Gibraltar en-route to Sierra Leone as part of the UK's response to the Ebola epidemic. On arrival RFA Argus was loaded with Toyota vehicles and addition supplies, she will now continue her journey and play a vital role in transporting medical teams and equipment as well as assisting experts deployed to help tackle the Ebola epidemic. The deployment is expected to last up yto 6 months.
RFA Argus arrives at HMNB Gibraltar en-route to Sierra Leone as part of the UK’s response to the Ebola epidemic. On arrival RFA Argus was loaded with Toyota vehicles and addition supplies, she will now continue her journey and play a vital role in transporting medical teams and equipment as well as assisting experts deployed to help tackle the Ebola epidemic. The deployment is expected to last up to 6 months.
RFA Argus arrives at HMNB Gibraltar en-route to Sierra Leone as part of the UK's response to the Ebola epidemic. On arrival RFA Argus was loaded with Toyota vehicles and addition supplies, she will now continue her journey and play a vital role in transporting medical teams and equipment as well as assisting experts deployed to help tackle the Ebola epidemic. The deployment is expected to last up yto 6 months.
RFA Argus arrives at HMNB Gibraltar en-route to Sierra Leone as part of the UK’s response to the Ebola epidemic. On arrival RFA Argus was loaded with Toyota vehicles and addition supplies, she will now continue her journey and play a vital role in transporting medical teams and equipment as well as assisting experts deployed to help tackle the Ebola epidemic. The deployment is expected to last up to 6 months.

Justin Greening, DFiD, said;

These vehicles will be vital to keep Ebola treatment centres running across the country. From transporting medical supplies to ensuring treatment centres are well stocked with protective clothing, they will help increase capacity and capability as we work to control and defeat Ebola in Sierra Leone.

I am in Freetown to see first-hand how British health workers, military personnel, humanitarian experts and engineers are leading the fight to tackle this dreadful disease. I have visited a UK-funded Ebola medic training facility and a British-run community care unit and am immensely proud of what we are already achieving on the ground and how that will scale up dramatically in the coming weeks.

There are currently more than 300 UK military personnel in Sierra Leone from all three services – Army, Navy and RAF – comprised of medics, engineers, logisticians and planners. The Royal Navy’s RFA Argus and its Merlin helicopters, along with highly-skilled personnel, left Falmouth on the 17 October and on arrival will provide further support to UK efforts to tackle the virus. By the end of October, Defence’s total contribution to the UK’s work to tackle Ebola in Sierra Leone will amount to around 750 personnel

A great set of images but one thing that did strike me as unusual was the means of loading.

I thought RFA Argus had RORO ramps and the ability for vehicles to drive on and then lifted onto the deck via the helicopter lifts. Clearly, the yellow crane was used to lift them directly to the deck.

Does RFA Argus no longer have the RORO capability, is it blocked by stores and equipment taken on in the UK or is it just quicker to lift them straight to the deck.

It also begs the question about what happens at the other end.

Will then be craned off to one of the three landing craft seen on deck or lifted by the Merlin helicopter?

More Army Personnel Deploy

Another group of Army personnel have also deployed, by air, to Sierra Leone.

35 Squadron, 5 Medical Regiment, Royal Army Medical Corps and supporting personnel from the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment and 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland will run the Ebola Training Academy.

Catterick based 35 Squadron from 5 Medical Regiment have departed from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire on Tuesday 21 October as part of the Army’s support to the UK’s response to the Ebola outbreak.
Catterick based 35 Squadron from 5 Medical Regiment have departed from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire on Tuesday 21 October as part of the Army’s support to the UK’s response to the Ebola outbreak.
Catterick based 35 Squadron from 5 Medical Regiment have departed from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire on Tuesday 21 October as part of the Army’s support to the UK’s response to the Ebola outbreak.
Catterick based 35 Squadron from 5 Medical Regiment have departed from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire on Tuesday 21 October as part of the Army’s support to the UK’s response to the Ebola outbreak.
Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening talking to Medics prior to flying to Freetown,  Catterick based 35 Squadron from 5 Medical Regiment have departed from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire on Tuesday 21 October as part of the Army’s support to the UK’s response to the Ebola outbreak. The unit will be deploying to Sierra Leone to man the Ebola Training Academy; the Academy’s role is to train the health care workers who will be working in the five Ebola Treatment Units the UK is currently building.
Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening talking to Medics prior to flying to Freetown,
Catterick based 35 Squadron from 5 Medical Regiment have departed from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire on Tuesday 21 October as part of the Army’s support to the UK’s response to the Ebola outbreak. The unit will be deploying to Sierra Leone to man the Ebola Training Academy; the Academy’s role is to train the health care workers who will be working in the five Ebola Treatment Units the UK is currently building.
Catterick based 35 Squadron from 5 Medical Regiment have departed from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire on Tuesday 21 October as part of the Army’s support to the UK’s response to the Ebola outbreak.   The unit will be deploying to Sierra Leone to man the Ebola Training Academy; the Academy’s role is to train the health care workers who will be working in the five Ebola Treatment Units the UK is currently building.
Catterick based 35 Squadron from 5 Medical Regiment have departed from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire on Tuesday 21 October as part of the Army’s support to the UK’s response to the Ebola outbreak. The unit will be deploying to Sierra Leone to man the Ebola Training Academy; the Academy’s role is to train the health care workers who will be working in the five Ebola Treatment Units the UK is currently building.
Around 150 British Army personnel left RAF Brize Norton this morning bound for Sierra Leone, to add to the significant efforts that the MoD has already made in tackling the Ebola crisis. The soldiers, mostly medics from 35 Squadron, 5 Medical Regiment of the Royal Army Medical Corps are due to arrive later today in Freetown. They will run the Ebola Training Academy - teaching local healthcare workers and hygienists how to protect themselves from infection and how to prevent it in others. Also deploying today were soldiers from the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment and 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (1 SCOTS).  Catterick based 35 Squadron from 5 Medical Regiment have departed from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire on Tuesday 21 October as part of the Army’s support to the UK’s response to the Ebola outbreak.   The unit will be deploying to Sierra Leone to man the Ebola Training Academy; the Academy’s role is to train the health care workers who will be working in the five Ebola Treatment Units the UK is currently building.
Around 150 British Army personnel left RAF Brize Norton this morning bound for Sierra Leone, to add to the significant efforts that the MoD has already made in tackling the Ebola crisis. The soldiers, mostly medics from 35 Squadron, 5 Medical Regiment of the Royal Army Medical Corps are due to arrive later today in Freetown. They will run the Ebola Training Academy – teaching local healthcare workers and hygienists how to protect themselves from infection and how to prevent it in others. Also deploying today were soldiers from the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment and 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (1 SCOTS)..
Catterick based 35 Squadron from 5 Medical Regiment have departed from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire on Tuesday 21 October as part of the Army’s support to the UK’s response to the Ebola outbreak.
Catterick based 35 Squadron from 5 Medical Regiment have departed from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire on Tuesday 21 October as part of the Army’s support to the UK’s response to the Ebola outbreak.

 

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Red Trousers
Red Trousers
October 26, 2014 8:07 pm

Jesus fucking wept. Why brand new Hiluxes? They’re never coming back, they don’t need to be shiny.

DFID should buy up a stock of used wagons, give them an MOT and once over, then park them close to Matchwood.

That’s my fucking taxes.

WiseApe
October 26, 2014 8:17 pm

I hope we’ve at least put trackers on those Hiluxes. Something a Brimstone could latch onto…

Well, look where the last consignment ended up!

The Other Chris
October 26, 2014 8:28 pm

Doesn’t need to be anything special, just a pattern (akin to QR code) stencilled on in something invisible to the naked eye that a multispectral imager can pick up under a few layers of paint and rust.

The Other Chris
October 26, 2014 8:32 pm

@RT

Might not be as expensive as you think. Supplied by Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings, who specialise in preparing and renovating ex-stock vehicles for aid agencies.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
October 26, 2014 8:40 pm

ToC,

…grumble. I loath DFID with a passion. They are, in my experience in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Whitehall completely bloody useless, and worse, they consume lots of money that should be spent properly.

Ask me whether I’d rather have DFID or a pair of carriers, and I’d fund the Icelandic Saharan Research Centre.

mr.fred
mr.fred
October 26, 2014 8:46 pm

Anyone care to do a quick calculation of the cost of a new Hilux against an old one, “checking it over” and getting it to the port?
Or you could see how many Hilux you would get for each unit of military munition or flying hour of aircraft. That would be interesting.
I’d go for about £20k per vehicle, compared to £3-5k/hr for the helos.(or £42k if you fancy chucking in all the support costs, depreciation etc.) Paveway is something around £20k while Brimstone is closer to £100k.

TAS
TAS
October 26, 2014 8:50 pm

Well, I rather disagree with you there RT. Having worked with DFiD on the relief ops in northern Iraq recently, I can tell you they were on the ball, cooperative, got appropriate relief supplies forward in rapid time and maintained a healthy separation from the military to maintain their impartial non-military status. Their liaisons into PJHQ were spot on. And by all accounts, they did a pretty good job in the Philippines on PATWIN.

Nice to see your sense of reality is as balanced as ever. Good luck in Reykjavik with all that sand.

TAS
TAS
October 26, 2014 8:52 pm

Anyone care to estimate the cost of evacuating chaps from a broken down second-hand Hilux stuck in the middle of the jungle, and explaining that to a subsequent board of inquiry?

Anixtu
Anixtu
October 26, 2014 8:54 pm

TD,

“Does RFA Argus no longer have the RORO capability, is it blocked by stores and equipment taken on in the UK or is it just quicker to lift them straight to the deck.”

Argus no longer has. If you compare her starboard quarter today with older photographs you can see that the ramp/door has been removed and plated over. The capability had not been used in a very long time, there was no intention to use her as a vehicle transport (didn’t work well in that role in the 90s) and serviceability of the ramp was a problem. I think it was given up on in the early 2000s and finally removed in her SLEP refit a few years ago.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
October 26, 2014 9:17 pm

TAS,

you may be thinking of the wrong service. With the exception of the Irish Rangers, it is pretty much the case that in the Army, if you break down behind enemy lines, you sort it out for yourself, and no one comes to your rescue. If on the other hand you are in the Andrew or worse, a Kevin, the entire operational theatre comes to a juddering halt and half a three star’s command is thrown into action to rescue you, while your weeping aunt is shown on the lunchtime news and schoolchildren lay flowers at the barrack gate.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
October 26, 2014 9:31 pm

TD,

The only way the REEMs are different is that they are unlikely to break down, but hugely likely to get lost. Either way, same result.

They normally have a kettle though, jury rigged in one of their wagons. And a huge stash of dodgy german porn. So they’ll have something to read while being lost, and a cup of tea. ;)

ChrisM
ChrisM
October 26, 2014 9:52 pm

I thought that must be what they were for – on Bing satellite photos you can see all the white trucks parked up on that parade ground at the south end of Gib.
Seems a bit of an odd place to keep them – surely in the UK somewhere between Brize Norton and Marchwood would make more sense?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
October 26, 2014 10:00 pm

ChrisM,

There’s a joke in there, although it involves the Coldstream Guards, the Divisional Left Form, a hungover lieutenant, and the General’s wife who had given the lieutenant in secret a lock of hair from an intimate place.

Craig
Craig
October 26, 2014 10:38 pm

@ChrisM

As The Other Chris mentioned, it’s a Gibraltar Toyota dealership supplying vehicles to many international agencies/NGOs.

http://www.toyota-gib.com/

IXION
October 26, 2014 10:50 pm

RT

That’s coz landrovers are expensive and unreliable.

paul g
October 26, 2014 11:09 pm

REME don’t get lost they usually go to the wrong grid ref that some “expert” in the field has given them!!!

think you need to switch to a non bio washing powder for the crimson strides RT the itching is making you a wee bit crabby in recent posts (no pun intended with crabby)

:-)

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
October 27, 2014 6:04 am

Paul G,

Oh, cheer up. You know that the Fitters are always embarrassed with a map.

Anyway, have a video of the only woman in the world sexier than Mrs RT:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KXewIR7Y7cc

Anixtu
Anixtu
October 27, 2014 7:27 am

If you look very closely at the first pic, can you see the nature of the essential disaster relief cargo on the bed of the Hilux? ;-)

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
October 27, 2014 10:16 am

@TD

‘Does anyone think it quite telling that they weren’t Land Rovers’

It’s probably easier and cheaper to get parts for Hilux’s than LandRovers in Africa. You find Toyota Landcruisers and their ilk literally every where, not so much Land Rovers.

I would echo TAS’s opinion of DFiD, after initially working with them in Bosnia (where both the military and DFiD were completely clueless to each others ways of working and goals) and subsequent ops since, they and us seem to have learned a great deal and are pretty competent working with each other.

Maybe it’s like the armed forces where the personnel at the coal face are pretty professional and competent at their jobs but it’s the idiots in the senior positions and Whitehall who give them the bad rep?

a
a
October 27, 2014 10:24 am

It’s probably easier and cheaper to get parts for Hilux’s than LandRovers in Africa. You find Toyota Landcruisers and their ilk literally every where, not so much Land Rovers.

That would be my guess. Remember these vehicles are going to be used and maintained by local civilians as well as British military – there’s a huge support base already in place in Africa for Hiluxes. And they can carry more stuff in their loadbeds than you could fit in the back of a Landy.

monkey
monkey
October 27, 2014 10:33 am

@Anixtu
Good spot , if they are hoping the tonic part of a G+T will stave of Ebola I think their wrong but there’s no harm in trying.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
October 27, 2014 10:37 am

@TD

Fair one, is there still a large use of Landrover in the Caribbean as opposed to Africa?

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
October 27, 2014 11:23 am

@RT – Blondie? Outstanding! :-) :-)

IXION
October 27, 2014 11:49 am

It is worth noting that the hiluxes (hiluxi)? We get in the UK are loaded with extras and that no EU compliant basic trucks are quite cheap little more than 12000 or so each and on a big order less.

Bits don’t fall off them like land rover and you don’t need to carry spare power steering pumps….

monkey
monkey
October 27, 2014 12:13 pm

On RT’s view on Debra Harry , I remember reading a article in NME. Chris Wright’s, of Chrysalis Records fame ,who’s assistant received an urgent call to come over to his office immediately and asked what was up? Chris held up Debra Harry’s and Blondies promotional photos and said “sign her now!” , the assistant said “she’s got a fantastic voice hasn’t she?” Chris replied “she can sing as well !!?”
He hadn’t even listen to the cassette yet :-)

Repulse
October 27, 2014 9:24 pm

Like the pic of the two LCVPs… Wonder how many you could fit on the whole deck… Just saying:) ….

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
October 27, 2014 9:45 pm

Re Debby Harry,

No one should Google her image from after about 1981. She has not worn as well as I have done.

My Mrs brought to our marriage an oil that among the more general scenery has a naked male. She likes it, and it is displayed in our kitchen.

I have a naked Debby Harry as a backdrop on my iPhone.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
October 27, 2014 9:52 pm

The contacts icon nearly preserves her modesty, but as it was the 70s, she rather luxuriantly shows off around the edges.

And it is quite fun to push the icon to call up someone.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
October 27, 2014 10:02 pm

Now, Now Repulse

You know that’s not the way it works here, it’s specifically designed amphibs or nothing else the Navy operates in a highly …………… Blah, Blah ………….. complex ………….. Blah, Blah …………… Aaaaannnnddddd your under ;-)

Claire Choon
Claire Choon
October 27, 2014 10:11 pm

Red Trousers , loathe DFID, aid is also given as in the Pergau Dam affair. USAID, JICA, BMD ever heard of those? Why not campaign for those agencies to be cancelled?

Dangerous Dave
Dangerous Dave
October 27, 2014 10:27 pm

@Anixtu (0727): They do still have Malaria in Africa, though. The quinine will come in useful!

Anixtu
Anixtu
October 27, 2014 10:39 pm

Repulse,

“Like the pic of the two LCVPs… Wonder how many you could fit on the whole deck… Just saying:) ….”

As many as your crane(s) have the lift and reach for. Two.

WiseApe
October 29, 2014 8:46 pm

Serves her right for going reggae. Kate Beckinsale however, improves like a fine wine. Forty one is no age. Just getting into your stride.