Operation Gritrock

The MOD is providing aviation support ship RFA Argus, Merlin helicopters from 820 NAS and military personnel to support efforts to tackle Ebola.

The UK’s pledge for military involvement includes: a commitment to provide further personnel to the region who will join the highly-skilled engineers, logisticians and planners that are already on the ground to support the construction of the Kerry Town Ebola treatment unit; support for a World Health Organisation-led Ebola training facility to assist in the training of healthcare workers, logisticians and hygienists who are needed to staff treatment units; this support includes the provision of over 200 military staff to run the site; three Royal Navy Merlin helicopters and aircrew and engineers from 820 Naval Air Squadron to facilitate the rapid movement of key personnel to areas where they are required; aviation support ship RFA Argus that will operate as a forward base for our helicopters

The UK armed forces have so far played a pivotal role in delivering the current British support as they work with the government of Sierra Leone to tackle the crisis.Using British expertise and local building contractors, the UK has committed to support 700 new beds in Ebola treatment facilities. This package will further support the country’s stretched public health services in containing the disease by helping up to nearly 8,800 patients over a 6-month period.

What we are doing

Deploying troops, helicopters and a ship

Why we are there

Contributing to the UK's role to tackle the Ebola outbreak

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.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon

Captain David Buck

Rank: Captain

Captain David Buck joined the Royal Fleet Auxiliary service as a Deck Cadet in 1975, he assumed command of RFA Argus in November 2014.

Previous units

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Providing humanitarian assistance

When natural or man-made disasters occur, a country’s infrastructure and resources can be crippled. With loss of electricity, shortage of food and water supplies, and human lives at risk – responding to such life-threatening scenarios is central to the Royal Navy’s ethos. Because we have the skills, equipment and know-how to go anywhere, regardless of potential damage to local infrastructure.

International partnerships

As the fifth largest economy in the world, the UK has responsibilities towards its allies and partners. But Britain also has global ambitions – namely to protect the seaways underpinning the country’s prosperity. The Royal Navy plays a crucial role in fostering these enduring and lasting alliances with other nations.

Location Africa

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