An interesting thread I've just read having arrived home yesterday from one of the Ships involved.
I think the thread should be renamed to anything not containing HMS ILLUSTRIOUS - Last to arrive, first to leave and didn't actually do very much. The feeling I got from my brief stop on the Bulwark as I made my way home said it all, SEEN OFF, CVS going west and they're staying even though they'd been away 3 months longer.
I spent a bit of time hosting our Entitled Persons during 2 runs between Beirut and Limassol, I've never made so much tea since I was a red arse on my first ship! It was nice to feel like I was doing my bit, it did get a bit annoying on the second trip when some of the less "British" EPs were complaining about the number of people crammed into the mess, and how long they were waiting for a hot meal (they'd already been given a snack as soon as we sailed) It was hard not to suggest that if it was so bad they could have always stayed in Beirut
At least there should be a medal because of the Lusty's presence so it does have it's uses!!!