Abersoch sailor deploys to Sierra Leone: 25/10/2014


A Royal Fleet Auxiliary officer, from Abersoch, has deployed to Sierra Leone as part of the UK military operation to help combat the spread of Ebola.

Second Officer (Logistics Supply) Mike Jones is on aviation support ship RFA Argus currently sailing to Sierra Leone.

Argus is one element of the Department for International Development (DfID) led response to the Ebola outbreak with teams of medics, engineers and specialists deploying to the country.


Mike At Work On The Argus: photo: MOD.


Mike, who grew up in Warrington and has lived in Abersoch for 25 years, is a member of the RFA Argus Logistics team – ensuring the ship has all the necessary provisions onboard for a lengthy deployment with a large number of embarked personnel.

The 51-year-old said: “When I told family and friends that I was deploying to Sierra Leone there was some surprise, but everyone is really supportive because they know the work we are going to do is worthwhile.

“Of course there are some people who were nervous about this trip but we have all undergone training and received the education brief and there are also a number of experts onboard to help allay any fears or misinformation.”

Before joining the Royal Fleet Auxiliary – the frontline logistics support fleet of the Royal Navy – Mike worked in the cruise line industry as an assistant food manager.

But the security and adventure of a job in the RFA was stronger and he made the move 26 years ago.

“You cannot compare jobs in the cruise industry with the RFA, they differ too much,” he said.

“But the RFA is a British institution in that we are civilian sailors who are directly linked to the Royal Navy. It is a diverse job that has taken me all over the world to locations that I would never have seen otherwise.”

The UK military deployment to Sierra Leone is part of a wider humanitarian aid program led by DFID and involving Save the Children and the Sierra Leonean Government and military.

RFA Argus is due to arrive in Sierra Leone next week.


RFA Argus as she sailed from Falmouth: photo: MOD.



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