Royal Marines Band RFA Argus Deployment Diary
of all, I'd like to welcome you all to the weekly up date of the Royal Marines
Band deployed on RFA Argus. The Band was formed just a few days before Christmas
leave and consists of musicians from all five Royal Marines Bands. Many of the
musicians have spent the previous few months providing cover on Operation Fresco
during the fire strike, until the call came to say good-bye to their trusty
Green Goddesses and hello to their new Grey Goddess.
Argus carries the Primary Casualty Receiving Facility (PCRF) and is no stranger
to Royal Marines Bands. Back in 1990-1, 40 members of the CinC Fleet Band served
onboard Argus during the Gulf War. Since then RM Bands have carried-out various
medical exercises onboard Argus which has an extremely well equipped 100 bed
medical facility. The role for the musicians onboard is to support the medical
staff primarily as Casualty Handlers, transferring casualties brought onboard
by helicopters from the flight-deck down to the medical facility. Within the
facility they will assist in the Emergency Department, Intensive Care and High
Dependency Units, Operating Theatre and on the General Wards. Whilst carrying
out these duties their musical skills will also be utilised to great effect
to provide musical support to various elements of the Naval service afloat.
We shall endeavour to keep you all up-to-date with weekly reports from various
members of the Band that will describe life onboard the ship, the training we
are doing, what gigs we are able to carryout and many other items of interest.
Let's face it, who wouldn't want to share the experience of an open ended deployment
from the comfort of your own home?
Our journey begins on a Sunday afternoon returning from Christmas leave. The
new Band gathers together for the first time in the Portsmouth Band room to
check kit and equipment before travelling to Southampton to join Argus for a
week at sea on a medical exercise. At the end of the week we are told to enjoy
a good weekend at home with our families before returning to the ship. After
a short delay, Argus slips quietly away from the jetty without ceremony under
the cover of darkness on a journey into the unknown.
Capt Nick Grace
Director of Music