Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Trent is sailing to the waters of the Gulf of Guinea for security patrols and a mission to support allies in West Africa.
The River-class patrol ship will visit Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Gambia and Cape Verde, and will take part in French-led multinational training exercises that will bring together international partners in the region, known as Exercise Grand African Nemo.
A statement on Tuesday from the British High Commission titled, ‘HMS Trent deploys to West Africa to support maritime security,’ said the
HMS Trent, which is the first Royal Navy vessel to operate in the region for three years, would conduct maritime security patrols as well as support partner navies by helping them to develop key maritime skills and develop plans for future operations in the region.
“This deployment is a clear signal of the UK’s commitment to being more persistently engaged in the region, through which more than £6 billion of UK trade passes every year,” the high commission noted.
The statement quoted the UK’s Armed Forces Minister, James Heappey as saying that “This deployment shows the Integrated Review in action. It demonstrates how a truly Global Britain is stepping up on the world stage to tackle shared international security challenges.”
He further noted, “Working hand-in-hand with our allies we are utilising our forward deployed Armed Forces to tackle threats at the source, making the world a safer place for all.”
HMS Trent carries on board a contingent of Royal Marines from 42 Commando, which will train partner forces across the region in skills like boarding and searching of suspicious vessels, as well as evidence handling and medical skills.
As well delivering training to partner nations, 42 Commando are experts in boarding operations helping fight against illegal activity like piracy, drugs-smuggling and terrorism.
“HMS Trent will attend the Friends of the Gulf of Guinea G7++ conference in Dakar, which the UK is co-chairing with hosts Senegal. Britain established the group in 2013 as part of the then G8 to coordinate regional maritime security efforts,” the statement said.