united kingdom Royal Fleet Auxiliary


Keeping a fighting fleet at sea and well supplied has always been a logistics nightmare. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) is the British solution to this ages-old challenge. The RFA was formalised on 3 Aug 1905, from a wide collection of Admiralty ships which had been supporting the front line fleet since the 16th century. It celebrated its centenary on 3 Aug 2005.

The RFA provides replenishment, forward repair and training facilites in support of the Royal Navy, other British armed services and NATO. This includes provision of all stores, fuel and ammunition to allow the Fleet to fight and remain at sea as long as needed without having to put into port, extending its operational range and effectiveness. The RFA specialises in Replenishment-at-Sea (RAS), while underway and in extreme cases whilst manoeuvring. Awkward loads can also been transferred by helicopter in a technique known as Vertical Replenishment.

Most RFA ships have a flight deck and some have hangarage and specialised lifts, either to bring helicopters up from below or to bring loads up to helicopters, or both.

For the first time in its history, The Queens Colour was presented to the RFA on 18 Jul 2008, by its Commodore-in-Chief, The Earl of Wessex on board RFA Largs Bay while alongside in Portsmouth.

RFA crews remain Merchant Seamen, albeit with special terms of service and its vessels are classed as Government ships on non-commercial business, proudly flying the RFA Blue Ensign.

RFA - Ready For Anything.


Royal Cayman Police in Bahamas After Hurricane Dorian, 17-Sep-19 : #HurricaneDorian Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) new H145/EC145T2 provided relief support to Abaco and Grand Bahama after Hurricane Dorian hit the islands. After 6 days the helicopter completed 42 flights covering 5,400 miles and operating also with Royal Navy’ ship RFA Mounts Bay

Royal Navy Exercise Saif Sareea 3 off Oman, 28-Oct-18 : #SaifSareea Largest Royal Navy task group in the Middle East in 15 years taking part in region’s biggest war game of 2018, Saif Sareea 3, off Oman

Merlin Mk4 Deck Quals on HMS Queen Elizabeth, 20-Aug-18 : #westlant18 Royal Marine assault helicopters Merlin Mk4 from 845 Squadron will train with 42 Commando on HMS Queen Elizabeth as first step of Exercise West Lant 18, her first F-35 deck operations

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