THE military hospital ship which spearheaded the UK’s fight against Ebola in Africa has returned to the UK.
Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship RFA Argus, which carried servicemen and women from Portsmouth, arrived home after deploying to Sierra Leone in October to provide air and medical support efforts against the killer disease.
Her three Merlin helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron and detachment of Royal Marines from 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines and 42 Commando helped deliver equipment, supplies and food packages to remote areas of Sierra Leone over six months.
The commanding officer of RFA Argus, Captain David Buck, said: ‘I’m delighted to be returning RFA Argus and her teams after a highly successful operation.
‘Argus has played an essential role in Sierra Leone.
‘Throughout her time in the region she has provided a vital capability to deliver much-needed supplies to the remotest areas of the country.
‘I’m extremely proud of what Argus has achieved.
‘The contribution required a whole-team effort from all involved.
‘Their performance has been testament to the ability of the naval service to operate globally to great effect.’
While Argus has left Sierra Leone, the UK mission is far from over with 300 military personnel remaining in the country.
The number of new weekly Ebola cases has dropped from nearly 500 in November to just 33 in recent weeks.
British forces are continuing their work in the country to bring the number down even further.