Royal Navy to assist efforts to tackle Ebola

File photo showing two Royal Navy Merlin helicopters on board HMS Illustrious Picture: PO(Phot) Ray Jones
File photo showing two Royal Navy Merlin helicopters on board HMS Illustrious Picture: PO(Phot) Ray Jones
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Royal Navy assets will be used to help tackle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The Ministry of Defence today said it will provide hundreds of troops, an aviation support ship and three Royal Navy Merlin helicopters as the UK ramps up its efforts tackle the virus.

Defence secretary Michael Fallon announced the measures after an emergency meeting of the government.

He said: ‘The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is already a global threat to public health and it’s vital that the UK remains at the forefront of responding to the epidemic.

‘Following today’s meeting we are stepping up significantly the UK’s contribution and leadership in work to tackle the outbreak, on land, in the air and at sea.

‘At the heart of the package is the commitment to provide more than 750 personnel to help with the establishment of Ebola Treatment Centres and an Ebola Training Academy.

‘We are deploying troops, helicopters and a ship – army medics and Merlin helicopters, supported by the RFA Argus to provide direct support and reassurance.’

Three Royal Navy Merlin helicopters, along with aircrew and engineers, will be deployed to facilitate the rapid movement of key personnel to areas that they are required, the Ministry of Defence said.