Military and civilian personnel are currently making final preparations in Falmouth, Cornwall, to sail with Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ship Argus to Sierra Leone as part of the UK’s response to the Ebola outbreak.
The ship will take 3 Merlin helicopters and aircrew and engineers from 820 Naval Air Squadron. The ship will also be able to facilitate the rapid transport of Army medical teams and aid experts, deployed to help tackle the Ebola virus.
So far more than 300 military engineers and planners have deployed as part of the UK task force, with the first staff arriving in late August.
In the coming weeks more than 200 military staff will also be deployed to run and staff the World Health Organisation-led Ebola training facility that will assist in the training of healthcare workers, logisticians and hygiene specialists who are needed to staff the Ebola treatment centres.
The UK’s total contribution will amount to 750 personnel. The UK’s treatment centres will provide direct medical care for up to 8,800 Ebola patients over 6 months.
Captain David Eagles, Commanding Officer of RFA Argus said: ‘‘RFA Argus is flexible and can be adapted to transport large amounts of equipment very quickly.
It therefore makes her the ideal vessel for a mission such as this, where her unique capabilities and experience will see us able to provide much needed supplies and expertise to the people of Sierra Leone.
I am confident that our people will have the support and extensive training they will need to make a positive contribution to the efforts to tackle Ebola.”