The United Kingdom Royal Navy patrol ship, HMS Trent, will sail the waters of the Gulf of Guinea on security patrols to support The Gambia and other countries in West Africa fight threat to maritime security.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the press and public affairs officer, Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office of the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos.
According to the statement, 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”.
“HMS Trent, which is the first Royal Navy vessel to operate in the region for three years, will 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 statement said.
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.
It will also deliver training to partner nations as 42 Commando experts in boarding operations will be helping in the fight against illegal activity like piracy, drugs-smuggling and terrorism.
HMS Trent will attend the Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (FoGG) G7++ conference in Dakar, which the UK is co-chairing with hosts Senegal.
Britain established the group in 2013 as part of the then G-8 to coordinate regional maritime security efforts.