The captain of the Portsmouth-based Royal Fleet Auxiliary Argus said his crew was happy but unsettled about heading to war-torn former Yugoslavia.
Argus was to carry four helicopters, to be used as air ambulances, into the troubled region.
Captain Tony Pitt said: ‘I told the lads what was going on and there didn’t seem to be any problems.
‘We do not know how long we will be away for. We hope to be back for Christmas, but if we are not we will be happy to carry on for as long as we are needed,’ he added.
The Royal Navy Sea King helicopters, which had a range of about 250-miles, was to remove British forces casualties in Bosnia for medical treatment behind the lines.
They would be unarmed and operate on board until a secure shore base was found.