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