RFA Argus resumes aviation training role
The Royal Navy’s RFA Argus has been validated for multi-spot and multi-aircraft aviation operations, adding to the vessel’s principal role as a primary casualty receiving ship.
The vessel has undergone a four month programme to bring it back into operational use as a specialist aviation training ship. The programme culminated in a six week intensive Operational Sea Training (OST) period, during which the vessel’s warfare, aviation, navigation and on-board emergency response capabilities were tested, along with the crew’s ability to build a cohesive fighting unit.
The 50-strong crew is comprised of both Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Royal Naval personnel from the Maritime Aviation Support Force (MASF), ranging across such diverse areas as aircraft handlers to logistic support and chefs to medical support.
Now fully operational, RFA Argus will be operating off the South Coast providing aviation training for the Fleet Air Arm squadrons during the coming months. The vessel will remain at five days high readiness notice to deploy anywhere in the word throughout this period.
Lt Cmdr Tony Harrison, senior naval officer and head of MASF onboard RFA Argus, said: ‘OST provided the opportunity for the Permanent Royal Navy to engage in multi- disciplinary ship activities designed to test our responses to emergency situations.
‘Every individual had an important role to play outside of their core responsibilities including fire-fighting, damage control, first aid and air defence. Aviation serials were key and continued throughout to enhance experience and add realism to events.’
Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.
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