Operation Gritrock: The UK Military Mission to Combat Ebola in Sierra Leone

On 25 May 2014 the World Health Organization was notified of an Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. This is the timeline of the UK military mission to help combat the disease. It went by the name of Operation Gritrock.

2014-08-09 19:47:42

Prime Minister and US President agree action must be taken to combat Ebola

US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron agree that the international community must do all it can by providing the necessary expertise and medical supplies.

2014-09-08 19:47:42

Experts to set up Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone.

British military and humanitarian experts will set up a medical treatment centre for victims of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today. The 62 bed facility will be purpose built and operated by military engineers and medical staff. The initial phase of the facility will be constructed and operational within 8 weeks.

2014-10-07 19:47:42

Troops prepare for Sierra Leone Ebola duty

On 7 October 2014, more than 100 members of the British Army’s 22 Field Hospital began training to provide a 12-bed treatment unit for healthcare workers in Sierra Leone.

2014-10-08 19:47:42

UK military to provide further measures to tackle Ebola

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced on 8 October 2014, that the Ministry of Defence will provide more than 750 personnel, Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ship Argus and three Merlin helicopters, as the UK ramps up its efforts to tackle Ebola.

2014-10-14 19:47:42

Defence Secretary visits RFA Argus ahead of Ebola mission

As members of the Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Royal Marines prepare to travel to Sierra Leone, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon paid them a visit on 14 October 2014. At this stage more than 300 military engineers and planners have deployed to West Africa.

2014-10-16 19:47:42

Army medics arrive in Sierra Leone

Personnel from 22 Field Hospital arrived in Sierra Leone on 16 October 2014. Among the 91 who deployed were general nurses, medical technicians, specialist nurses, doctors, infectious disease consultants, as well as drivers, chefs, administrators and logistical staff.

2014-10-17 19:47:42

RFA Argus deploys to Sierra Leone

RFA Argus left Falmouth on 17 October 2014 with personnel from the Royal Navy, RFA and Royal Marines, along with three Merlin helicopters, aircrew and engineers from 820 Naval Air Squadron. On arrival, the ship played a vital role in transporting medical teams and equipment, as well as assisting experts deployed to help tackle the Ebola epidemic.

2014-10-21 19:47:42

RFA Argus arrives in Sierra Leone

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) aviation support ship Argus has begun offloading vital equipment and stores to aid the fight against Ebola.

2014-10-21 19:47:42

More UK troops deploy to Sierra Leone

Around 150 British Army personnel left RAF Brize Norton on the morning of 21 October 2014. The soldiers, mostly medics from 35 Squadron, 5 Medical Regiment of the Royal Army Medical Corps, would run the Ebola Training Academy in Sierra Leone. Their role was to teach local healthcare workers and hygienists how to protect themselves from infection and how to prevent it in others. Soldiers from the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment and 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland also deployed.

2014-11-05 19:47:42

First British Ebola treatment facility opens in Sierra Leone

A new British Ebola treatment facility opened to patients today in Kerry Town, near the Sierra Leone capital Freetown. The Kerry Town complex includes an 80 bed treatment centre to be managed by Save the Children and a 12 bed centre staffed by British Army medics specifically for health care workers and international staff responding to the Ebola crisis. The construction of the treatment facility was funded by the Department for International Development and designed and overseen by British Army Royal Engineers.

2014-11-12 19:47:42

Armed Forces Minister visits military medics fighting Ebola

The then Armed Forces Minister Mark Francois met with British military personnel in Sierra Leone on 12 November 2014. He visited the medics of 22 Field Hospital who were staffing the 12-bed facility at the Kerry Town Treatment Centre, used to treat international healthcare workers.

2014-11-26 19:47:42

UK Merlins deliver aid to continue Ebola effort

Responding to a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) request, a Royal Navy Merlin helicopter from 820 Naval Air Squadron lifted urgent supplies for a support camp to be built near a community centre in Kumala. The helicopter flew six heavy loads of building materials, suspended below the aircraft, from the WFP hub in Port Loko.

2014-12-11 19:47:42

British reservists prepare to join fight against Ebola

11 December 2014 - both regular and reserve personnel from across all three services are undergoing their final preparations before they deploy to Sierra Leone. The nine-day, mission-specific training took place at the Army Medical Services Training Centre and included members of the Canadian military and Danish healthcare workers.

2014-12-15 19:47:42

New UK Ebola centres and labs in Sierra Leone

International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced on 15 December 2014, that Britain’s Royal Engineers have completed final building works on five Ebola treatment centres in Sierra Leone and have handed them over to the charities that will run them.

2014-12-16 19:47:42

Army personnel home after training thousands in Sierra Leone

Personnel from 5 Armoured Medical Regiment returned home on 16 December 2014, after successfully training Sierra Leonean health workers and hygienists on how to protect themselves from the Ebola virus and how to prevent it in others.

2014-12-19 19:47:42

Army Medic talks about her role in Sierra Leone

Private Danielle Pattinson, of 35 Squadron 5 Armoured Medical Regiment, has recently returned from Sierra Leone where she has been training Sierra Leonean healthcare workers and volunteer hygienists in the fight against Ebola.

2014-12-20 19:47:42

First British Reservists leave for Sierra Leone

On the morning of 20 December 2014, the first UK reserves and 100 regulars departed from RAF Brize Norton for Sierra Leone, alongside members of the Canadian military. Once in country, personnel took over from clinicians attached to 22 Field Hospital, manning the 12-bed facility reserved to treat healthcare workers with Ebola. At this stage, there were 850 UK military personnel in country.

2015-01-21 19:47:42

Reservist speaks about his role on Operation Gritrock

Royal Navy reservist Major Dowlen talks about the work he's doing to help end ebola in Sierra Leone. He also speaks about the support from his employers, Ernst & Young, who have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant.

2015-03-27 19:47:42

RFA Argus honoured as she completes Sierra Leone deployment

Defence Secretary and Chairman of the Admiralty Board, Michael Fallon, has awarded RFA Argus an Admiralty Board Letter of Commendation on 27 March 2015, in recognition of her contribution to operations in Sierra Leone. The ship’s three Merlin helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron and detachment of Royal Marines from 1 Assault Group RM, helped deliver much-needed equipment, supplies and food packages to remote areas of Sierra Leone over six months.

2015-05-21 19:47:42

Defence scientists support efforts to defeat Ebola

21 May 2015 - the MOD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has been supporting the UK effort in West Africa by providing advice on the biological and physical aspects of the Ebola virus. They also deployed highly skilled research scientists to the diagnostic lab at the Kerry Town Ebola Treatment Unit in Sierra Leone.

2015-07-03 19:47:42

MBE for Army engineer who delivered 100-bed Ebola treatment unit in 8 weeks

A British soldier from the Corps of Royal Engineers who delivered a 100-bed Ebola Treatment Unit in eight weeks in Sierra Leone is to be recognised with an MBE in the latest Operational Honours and Awards list for ‘demonstrating maturity and leadership far beyond his rank’, it has been announced.

2015-07-04 19:47:42

Troops return from Sierra Leone and welcomed by families

Military medics from 34 Field Hospital returned home on 4 July 2015, after being deployed to Sierra Leone as part of a team of 100 regulars and reserves. The medics were caring for healthcare workers who had contracted Ebola.

2015-07-07 19:47:42

Prime Minister David Cameron praises UK troops for Operation Gritrock

Prime Minister David Cameron awards a specially created medal to military personnel. “As a result of their efforts many lives were saved and the outbreak contained.”

2015-09-16 19:47:42

Ebola heroes recognised with parliamentary march

Members of the Armed Forces and civilian personnel who worked to tackle Ebola marched to parliament for a reception in their honour.

2015-09-18 19:47:42

Step inside an Ebola treatment centre training simulator

Suit up in the buddy buddy system, learn how to ‘don and doff’ the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and see some of the innovative ways in which the UK Military’s Defence Medical Services worked alongside other Government Departments, the NHS and Save the Children to ensure our regular and reserve medical staff stayed safe in the fight against Ebola.

2015-11-07 19:40:00

Sierra Leone stops transmission of Ebola virus

Today, the World Health Organization declares that Ebola virus transmission has been stopped in Sierra Leone. Forty-two days, that is two Ebola virus incubation cycles, have now passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola virus disease had a second negative blood test.

2015-11-07 19:47:42

Foreign Secretary congratulates Sierra Leone on eliminating Ebola

Today Sierra Leone reached 42 days since the last confirmed Ebola patient was discharged from hospital, meaning that Sierra Leone has now officially been declared free of Ebola. The UK government played a leading role in galvanising the international response against the disease.

Operation Gritrock: The UK Military Mission to Combat Ebola in Sierra Leone

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