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Published: 21 Nov 2016

The Royal Navy’s Primary Aviation Training Ship, RFA Argus was put through her paces recently as she was validated for Multi-spot and Multi-aircraft aviation operations.


Over the last four months Argus’ ships company comprising of both Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Royal Naval personnel from the Maritime Aviation Support Force, (MASF) have worked extremely hard to regenerate the Ship back into operational use. The past six week of intensive training programme 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,” said Captain Karl Woodfield, Commanding Officer of RFA Argus. “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 FAA. They range from such diverse areas as Aircraft Handlers to Logistic support and Chefs to Medical Support.


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”, said 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 fire-fighting, damage control, First Aid and Air Defence. Aviation serials were key and continued throughout to enhance experience and add realism to events.”


Capt Woodfield continued, “RFA Argus is now fully operational and we have resumed one of our primary roles as an Aviation Training ship. 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.”


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