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OBE for Royal Fleet Auxiliary Captain

30 November 2016
A Royal Fleet Auxiliary Captain has spoken of his pride at receiving an OBE from Prince William in recognition of his work as the Commanding Officer of support ship RFA Argus.

Captain David Buck, from Stoke-on-Trent, had command of RFA Argus during Operation Gritrock – the codename for the British military’s response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2014-2015.

During the 172 days he and his crew spent in support of Operation Gritrock, Argus served as the base for Merlin helicopters to ferry medicine, food and supplies around the country, both to our forces on the ground treating the local populace, and for people in isolated or cut-off communities.

In addition, her medical facilities – the most comprehensive afloat in the Naval Service – were available to treat any British personnel taken ill.

My command in RFA Argus during Operation Gritrock off Sierra Leone has been by far the most rewarding appointment of my 40 years in the RFA service

Captain David Buck

“I am deeply honoured and humbled to have received this fantastic award,” said Captain Buck who, accompanied by his wife Sue and daughters Charlotte and Emily, received his OBE from Prince William during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

“I am further thrilled that the huge team effort made on board RFA Argus by the ship’s company and embarked forces during the Ebola crisis in West Africa has been recognised in this manner.

“I feel most privileged to have been given the opportunity to serve in this way and will always look back on the experience with particular pride.

“My command in RFA Argus during Operation Gritrock off Sierra Leone has been by far the most rewarding appointment of my 40 years in the RFA service and a distinct career highlight.”

David, who now lives in Devon, joined the RFA in 1975 and during an eventful and challenging seagoing career has seen active service during the Falkland Islands conflict of 1982 and the Gulf War of 1991.

Having qualified as a Royal Naval Specialist Navigator, he has also served ashore at Flag Officer Sea Training and Naval Command Headquarters in Portsmouth.

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