The government has announced that the RFA Argus, probably the best-known ship calling at Falmouth, will remain in service beyond 2030 after it was due to be decommissioned in 2024.
Whether or not the escalation of the war between Russia and Ukraine or the strengthening of NATO in Eastern Europe played a role in the decision is an unknown factor.
Argus is an aviation training ship/primary casualty receiving ship of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
With a 100-bed medical complex on board, she acts as a floating medical facility in times of crisis or war but is not classified as a hospital ship under the Geneva Convention.
A&P Falmouth is responsible for maintaining and supporting Argus, HMS Scott, Lyme Bay, Mounts Bay and Cardigan Bay under the terms of the future in-service support contract which runs until 2028.
Now 50, Argus has a distinguished track record since being completed in Italy in 1981 and requisitioned by the MoD for the 1982 Falklands War.
Acquired by the MOD after the conflict, she underwent a massive conversion in Belfast before entering service with the RFA.
She participated in many theaters of operations, including the first Gulf War in 1991, Bosnia (1993), Kosovo (1999), Sierra Leone (2001), the second Gulf War (2003) and offshore Sierra Leone in support of soldiers sent to help control Ebola. epidemic in 2014.
Argus sailed from Falmouth for this mission and returned to a triumphant welcome on his return.