Christmas came early for the Fleet Air Arm contingent of hospital ship RFA Argus, whose mixed-service personnel are hard at work combating the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.

A wide range of audio visual equipment, granted to 820 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) by The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, will ensure that the crews’ down-time will be a little more comforting this Christmas.

From small televisions to games and wireless media players, 820 NAS were visibly delighted to welcome the arrival of their new kit via a helicopter from Brize Norton.

One of many helping out

With just one week’s notice 820 NAS found itself being drafted to the British Naval supply ship, which is acting as an offshore base for dozens of armed forces doctors, nurses, surgeons and Royal Marines.

With such a large number of UK forces personnel involved in aiding the medical relief effort, space on board RFA Argus is at a premium, as SLt D J Walton explains: “With so many personnel embarked for this important tasking, the demand for recreational space is unable to be met by the Ship; there are only a couple of ‘rec’ rooms in the accommodation complex and the junior rates saloon is small and generally overcrowded.”

The very nature of the mission prevents any on-shore leave; therefore the arrival of such in-house entertainment equipment is essential to maintaining morale on-board, SLt Walton added.

“The provision of the items requested would allow 820 NAS personnel the opportunity to have some entertainment in their 9-12 man mess-decks and ease the burden on the otherwise crowded communal spaces,” he said.