LONDON. Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) and Royal Naval personnel from the Maritime Aviation Support Force (MASF) in the United Kingdom (U.K.) have completed work, spanning four months, to return the Royal Navy’s Primary Aviation Training Ship, RFA Argus, into operational use. RFA Argus is now fully operational and has resumed one of its primary roles as an aviation training ship.
RFA Argus has been validated for multi-spot and multi-aircraft aviation operations. A six-week intensive training program culminated in RFA Argus passing Operational Sea Training (OST).
“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,” says RFA Argus Commanding Officer Captain Karl Woodfield. "It is a hard process but I am extremely proud of my ships company for showing the grit and determination to succeed.”
In total, 50 personnel from Royal Naval Air Station’s MASF are deployed onboard RFA Argus. Between them they cover a complete spectrum of trades and branches from across the Naval Service, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), officials say. They range from such diverse areas as aircraft handlers to logistic support and chefs to medical support.
“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 world,” says Capt. Woodfield.
“OST provided the opportunity for the PRN (Permanent Royal Navy) to engage in multi-disciplinary ship activities designed to test our responses to emergency situations,” adds Lieutenant Commander Tony Harrison, senior naval officer and head of MASF onboard RFA Argus. “Every individual had an important role to play outside of their core responsibilities including firefighting, damage control, first aid, and air defense. Aviation serials were key and continued throughout to enhance experience and add realism to events.”
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