RFA Argus

RFA Argus

The principal role of RFA Argus is to serve as a Primary Casualty Receiving Ship (PCRS). She has a fully equipped 100-bed medical complex on board, which can be uniquely tailored to deliver cutting-edge treatment afloat.

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The Primary Casualty Receiving Facility consists of over 40 different medical and surgical specialties, and is manned by personnel drawn from the MOD Hospital Units and Royal Marine Band Service.

The unit has a state-of-the-art emergency department, resuscitation and surgical facilities, a radiology suite that includes a CT scanner, a critical care unit, a high dependency unit and a 70-bed general ward.

As RFA Argus is fitted with self-defence guns and decoys and may have operational units embarked, she is not designated as a Hospital Ship as defined by the Geneva Convention and so does not display the International Red Cross symbol.

Her secondary role is to provide specialist aviation training facilities for the Fleet Air Arm.   

The ship is busy with a programme of destoring prior to a docking period, rejoining the operational Fleet in early 2016.

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On Deployment

This unit is currently on deployment find out how that might affect you.

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RFA Argus crew take to the Cornish skies

RFA Argus crew take to the Cornish skies

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RFA Argus Latest News

RFA Argus returns to sea

RFA Argus returns to sea after revamp following Ebola mission

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Aviators find their sea legs

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Current operation Training

The unit is being put through its paces in preparation for returning to front line operations.

  • Exercise Trident Juncture

    Exercise Trident Juncture 2015 will be held through October and November, predominantly in, over and on the seas around Portugal, Spain and Italy. It is one of a series of long-planned exercises to ensure that NATO Allies are ready to deal with any emerging crisis, from any direction, and that they are able to work effectively with partners in tackling any crisis.

  • Exercise Clockwork

    Exercise Clockwork is the annual Commando Helicopter Force training in Norway

Location UK

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Unit History

Ship Launching1981

RFA Argus was originally launched in 1981 as the commercially owned and operated Contender Bezant, a combination freight, Roll on Roll off ferry (RORO) and container ship.

Battle Honours1982

Contender Bezant's Battle Honour: Falkland Islands 1982

Falklands War1982

RFA Argus was one of the ships taken up from trade (STUFT) by the MOD for use in the 1982 Falklands War. During this period she was utilised as an aircraft transport, ferrying aircraft on deck.

Conversion to Aviation Training Ship1985

In 1985 she was converted to an aviation training ship at Harland & Wolff, Belfast, with extended accommodation, a flight deck, aircraft lifts and naval radar communications suites.

Ship History2009

Her principal role became Primary Casualty Receiving Ship during refit when a ramp for casualty transport replaced one of the aircraft hangars.

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Commanding Officer Gerard Patterson

Rank: Captain

Captain Gerard Patterson joined the RFA as a deck cadet in 1980, he is currently on command of RFA Argus.

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