It is not just the front line warships that are suffering from the Strategic Defence Review cuts, the number of Royal Fleet Auxilliary support vessels is also being cut down. The Fort George, originally built at Swan Hunters on the Tyne, is moored in Canada Dock, Liverpool awaiting her final disposal.
Commisioned in 1993, she was designed to carrry stores, fuel/fresh water for re-issue all in a single hull, as part of the Carrier Defense Force. But now no carriers then no need for the RFA.
The origian plan back in the '80s was to build twelve of these vessels but only two were ever built, the Fort George and the Fort Victoria.
She has had a vraied service life. In March 2000, the ship was equipped with five Westland Sea King helicopters and sent to Mozambique to help with disaster relief work following devastating floods.
In May 2000 she accompanied HMS Illustrious to Sierra Leone to support British operations to restore stability to that country. Late in the year, during a deployment in the Mediterranean, the ship helped passengers of the Greek ferry Express Samina which had run aground and sunk during a storm on 26 September.
In September 2009, Fort George, whilst working with the Type 23 Frigate HMS Iron Duke, was involved in the largest ever drugs seizure to date by the Royal Navy, when 5.5 tonnes of cocaine were seized from a converted fishing vessel MV Cristal in the Atlantic Ocean off South America.
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