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        RFA Fort Austin

        RFA Fort Austin

        RFA Fort Austin is a Solid Support Ship of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. She was laid down at Scott Lithgow in 1975, launched in 1978 and commissioned in 1979 followed shortly after by her sister ship RFA Fort Rosalie (originally named Fort Grange).

        These ships were designed to carry a wide range of stores to support other ships, supplying them with ammunition, food and explosives. They have extensive aviation facilities, with two flight decks, one at the stern and one spot on top of the hangar. Up to four Sea Kings can be supported in the large hangar.

        RFA Fort Austin

        These ships also have the capability to replenish at sea (RAS) via six replenishment stations, three on each side as well as using helicopters for 'vertical replenishment (VERTREP).

        RFA Fort Austin has had a long and illustrious career and during the Falklands Conflict she took part in the landings at San Carlos Water as an ammunition ship and was awarded the Falklands 1982 Battle Honour. In 2000, the ship was part of the British deployment to help restore order in Sierra Leone and was part of the Naval Task Group in 2003 during Operation Telic in Iraq.

        In the summer of 2009, RFA Fort Austin was placed in reserve for three years, but the ship has now been brought back to life and has rejoined the fleet with a major upgrade to prepare her for her future deployments.

        RFA Fort Austin has left the UK for an annual deployment to the Mediterranean and Gulf region - Cougar ’13.

        The long-planned deployment will see elements of the UK’s Response Force Task Group (RFTG) – the naval force formed under the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review – hone its world class maritime skills thousands of miles from home through exercises with a number of key allies.

        RFA Fort Austin will provide stores, fuel, water, and ammunition.


        Simon Booth

        Simon Booth
        RFA Black Rover, Fort Victoria
        Military experience

        Captain Simon Booth joined the Royal Fleet Auxiliary as an Officer Cadet straight from school in 1981, undertaking initial training at Warsash College of Maritime Studies.

        Qualifying in 1985 and took on the traditional roles of an RFA watch-keeping Officer in a wide variety of RFA vessels, attaining his Class 1 Master Mariners Certificate of Competency in 1992.

        Simon attained the rank of First Officer serving as both Navigator and Operations Officer but, with a young family, decided to try pastures new and left the RFA in 1998 after being accepted as a Marine Pilot on the River Humber.

        Simon gained three a half years unparalleled experience in ship handling before rejoining the RFA in 2002.

        This practical and sea going experience was then put to good use in shore appointments initially with the Defence Procurement Agency as a Technical Officer on the MARS Programme and then following promotion to Chief Officer within Whitehall as a Capability Manager for the Director of Expeditionary and Logistics Support (DEC ELS), where amongst the maritime aspects he also had responsibility for Defence Rail.

        Simon was then permitted a short period at sea in RFA Black Rover before being once more taken ashore to fulfil the demanding post of SO1 Capability for Commodore RFA in NCHQ as part of the AFSUP FCIG, a post that included all aspects of the day to day and future management of RFA vessels as well as the User input to the TIDE Class Tanker project, having been Deliverer and Sponsor in his previous shore appointments.

        Before returning to sea once more he spent a short appointment acting as SO1 Performance Management, dealing with FLMS and the Risk Register amongst many other things.

        The reward for all the hard work ashore saw him appointed as owner XO of RFA Fort Victoria during her deployment in Sept 2010.

        During the subsequent two and a half years Simon was involved in all aspects of the ship’s operational programme from the traditional RFA Tanker support role to enhanced Counter Piracy operations. His actions during this latter role resulted in the award of a Joint Commander’s Commendation and the RFA Prize from the Honourable Company of Master Mariners.

        Promoted Captain in February 2013 his first command was RFA Fort Austin as she prepared to deploy on exercise and operations with the Response Force Task Group.

        He is now appointed as owner Captain of RFA Diligence in her Forward Repair Ship role.

        Captain Booth enjoys dinghy sailing and walking and has almost completed the renovation of an 18th century farmhouse. Married, Captain Booth has two daughters and a Dalmatian.




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        Cougar 13


        Cougar is an amphibious task force exercising in the Mediterranean. The Response Force Task Group (RFTG) is the Royal Navy’s High Readiness Task Group. It has a number of units assigned to it including a helicopter carrier, an assault ship, two frigates, as well as a Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ship and Commando units, and several Fleet Air Arm squadrons.

        Read More






        114 + 45 Ship's Company + Aircrew






        10,000 nautical miles at 20 knots

        Top Speed


        TAKE A LOOK


        RFA Fort Austin HISTORY

        • Battle Honours

          Falkland Islands 1982

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