The UK’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel (RFA) Argus has successfully completed its six-month Sierra Leone deployment to support efforts to tackle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The vessel was carrying three Merlin helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron, which have now departed back to RNAS Culdrose. It also included Royal Marines from 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines and 42 Commandos.
Alongside a 100-bed hospital, the vessel carried 55 vehicles, including two landing crafts and rigid hull inflatable boats and three Zodiacs.
During the deployment, which began in October 2014, Argus provided aviation and amphibious support and medical capability to the Department for International Development-led effort against the spread of Ebola.
Argus also supported the delivery of equipment, supplies and food packages to remote areas of Sierra Leone in addtion to support experts deployed to help deal with the Ebola epidemic.
RFA Argus commanding officer captain David Buck said: "Argus has played an essential role in Sierra Leone.
"Throughout her time in the region she has provided a vital capability to deliver much-needed supplies to the remotest areas of the country.
"The contribution required a whole-team effort from all involved. Their performance has been testament to the ability of the naval service to operate globally to great effect."
While Argus deployment in Sierra Leone has concluded, the UK Government will still remain committed to the fight against Ebola with 300 military personnel remaining in country.
The UK’s contribution includes command and control, logisticians, planners and medics.
Image: RFA Argus arrives at Falmouth Docks. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.