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RFA Argus hosts Livery Day in London

RFA Argus hosts Livery Day in London
30 June 2017
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service Livery Day 2017 took place earlier this week on board RFA Argus moored on the Thames at Greenwich, with the city of London as an impressive backdrop.

The aim of the annual Livery Day event is to highlight the work done and successes gained by the RFA over the past 12 months, whilst also raising awareness and the profile of the RFA Service, Royal Navy and the wider Ministry of Defence.

This year’s event was hosted by RFA Head of Service, Commodore Duncan Lamb RFA (COMRFA) and attended by invited guests from the RFA’s Affiliated Honourable and Worshipful Companies and Charities.

He said, “I am extremely pleased to be able host this year’s event on board RFA Argus moored on the iconic river Thames in the heart of the nation’s capital city of London”.

After a short boat transfer from Greenwich to the ship, guests in attendance were met on arrival by RFA Argus Commanding Officer, Captain Nigel Budd RFA and included representatives from the Honourable Company of Master Mariners and Worshipful Companies of Carmen, Cooks, Fuellers and affiliated charity organisations.

I am extremely pleased to be able host this year’s event on board RFA Argus moored on the iconic river Thames in the heart of the nation’s capital city of London

Commodore Duncan Lamb RFA (COMRFA), RFA Head of Service

Following their welcome on board from Cdre Lamb, the invited guests were given a tour of RFA Argus and the impressive medical facilities contained within the Primary Casualty Reception Facility (PCRF) and also the extensive on-board aviation support complex which is managed by a permanent staff of Royal Navy personnel.

Upon finishing the tour of the ship, Master of the Worshipful Company of Cooks, Michael Thatcher, commented, “This is my first visit to an RFA and I am extremely impressed with the state of the art on board medical facilities (PCRF) and how capable and flexible the ship is. It has been my pleasure to meet the extremely professional officers and crew of RFA Argus – a terrific experience”.

Guests were then given an in depth presentation and briefing on the RFA contribution to global afloat support over the past 12 months. Topics covered ranged from hurricane disaster relief and counter narcotics operations in the Caribbean Sea, to operational support provided in the Arabian Gulf, South Atlantic and UK home waters.

In addition, the brief also covered the departure from the RFA this year of the last of the Rover Class ships after over 40 years’ service and RFA Diligence. However, these losses have been mitigated by the arrival of the first of the Military Afloat Reach & Sustainability (MARS) tankers, RFA Tidespring, to be followed in succession over the coming months by Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce.

Commodore Lamb observed, “Though some old friends may have sailed into the sunset, this is an exciting period in the history of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, as we look forward to accepting into service these hugely versatile and capable new Tide Class ships, which will significantly enhance the global operational output currently provided by the RFA”.

The guests convened to the Officers’ Mess where they were treated to a buffet lunch and light refreshments. Many favourable comments being made with regard to the standard of food provided by the small but dedicated cookery team, led by Chief Cook James Pickering and supported by catering apprentices currently borne for training and career progression.

On completion of the day’s events Commodore Lamb thanked the gathered audience for their attendance. He said, “Thank you all very much for attending today. Livery Day is one of the highlights of the RFA calendar and a tremendous opportunity to renew old acquaintances and introduce those not familiar with the RFA to our role within the Naval Service. We very much look forward to meeting again in 2018”.

In the evening, Livery Day events were rounded off with a COMRFA dinner function for invited guests. The chief guest of honour was Rt Hon Earl Howe PC. Earl Howe is Minister of State for Defence and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords. RFA Argus presence in London gave the minister an opportunity to familiarise himself with RFA Argus and its unique capability.

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