RFA Argus arrives in New York
2:30pm Thursday 31st May 2012 in In Port
RFA Argus, a familiar vessel in Falmouth waters, has arrived in New York, USA, where she is taking part in the 1812 bi-centennial celebrations.
Argus then spends a month on the US eastern seaboard. She will visit various ports before heading to the West Indies on her next deployment in readiness for the approaching hurricane season. Aviation support specialists from RNAS Culdrose, at Helston, are on board to help whatever the crisis.
Her mixed complement of Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Royal Navy and Royal Marines are preparing to undertake a number of tasks, principally the delivery of humanitarian aid in the event of a natural disaster. She is carrying a large amount of disaster relief stores and has a Lynx helicopter embarked to assist in this vital work.
The Royal Navy’s Maritime Aviation Support Force, which is based at Culdrose, flies under the motto: Reaching the heights with help. The force maintains a permanent presence on RFA Argus and provides the full range of aviation support required for operations and training.
The ship’s company have been further enhanced with the addition of a recently formed humanitarian and disaster relief team whose members will, if called upon, provide additional manpower to aid rebuilding of devastated areas.
Commanding Officer of MASF, Lieutenant Commander Nathan Gillett said: “MASF are an integral and important element of the Argus’ company. We collectively have a unique cross section of skills, training and experience and look forward to the challenges ahead.
“The Caribbean hurricane season will soon be upon us and we are all very keen to assist in any way possible.”
When asked about how they felt about operating in the Caribbean; the Senior Naval Officer Lieutenant Commander Gary “Spike” Hughes said: “Everybody on board is looking forward to this deployment and for many it will be a trip of a lifetime. This is what we joined up for.
“There we will be conducting the serious business of Hurricane and disaster relief to UK Overseas Territories whilst continuing to maintain a Royal Naval presence within the wider region.
“This is the serious part to our deployment and the teams are determined to provide all the help and support they can wherever and whenever the time comes.”
MASF are an unusual part of the Navy. All personnel are on five days notice to move and face a rigorous schedule.