The UK Navy's Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel (RFA) Argus has resumed one of its primary roles as an aviation training ship after completing operational sea training.
Following the completion of its 11-month revamp programme in March this year, the ship’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Royal Naval personnel from the Maritime Aviation Support Force (MASF) have worked to put it back into operational use over the last four months.
After completing six weeks of operational sea training (OST), the ship was validated to resume its multi-spot and multi-aircraft aviation operations.
RFA Argus commanding officer captain Karl Woodfield said: “Operational sea training is designed to test all aspects of the ships capability including warfare, aviation, navigation and our ability to deal with fire and flood emergencies but also to build a cohesive fighting unit.”
MASF senior naval officer and head lieutenant commander Tony Harrison stated that the OST allowed the Permanent Royal Navy to take part in multi-disciplinary ship activities that tested their response to emergency situations.
The ship is currently deployed with 50 personnel from the Royal Naval Air Station’s MASF, who are tasked to cover a range of naval service areas such as aircraft handlers, logistic support, medical support, and chefs.
Woodfield added: "Over the next few months we will be operating off the South Coast providing aviation training for the Fleet Air Arm squadrons but we remain at five days high readiness notice to deploy anywhere in the word.”
The 28,000t ship features a 100-bed hospital on-board and also serves as the Royal Navy’s Primary Casualty Receiving Ship (PCRS).
Image: A helicopter takes off from RFA Argus. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.