Royal Navy's new patrol HMS Trent to sail to west Africa on security patrol
A ROYAL Navy warship is bound for the west African coast on a security mission to crack down on pirates and smugglers.
HMS Trent is one the way to the Gulf of Guinea, where she will spend the next three months in the area.
The River-class Batch 2 patrol ship will become the first Royal Navy vessel to sail in the region in three years.
The vessel, which is one of the newest in the fleet, has spent time in the Mediterranean and Black Sea on operations over the past six months before turning her gaze towards the tropical waters of the Gulf of Guinea.
With Royal Marines of 42 Commando on board, the ship will carry out a range of joint drills and training to strengthen bonds with allies in the region.
Trent will visit Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Gambia and Cape Verde, and will take part in French-led multinational war game, Exercise Grand African Nemo.
She will also conduct security patrols and support partner navies by helping to develop key maritime skills.
HMS Trent’s captain, Commander Tom Knott, said: ‘We are extremely proud and excited to commence this deployment to what is an exciting new region for HMS Trent.
‘We are looking forward to working with regional partners and also engaging with local communities in an effort to strengthen security.’
HMS Trent carries on board a 17-strong contingent from 42 Commando, which will train partner forces 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.
The navy said the patrol ship’s mission was ‘a clear signal of the UK’s commitment to being more persistently engaged in the region, through which more than £6bn of UK trade passes every year’.
Armed forces minister James Heappey said: ‘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.
‘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 is one of five Royal Navy patrol ships deployed across the world – from the Indo-Pacific, south Atlantic to the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
She finished preparations for her patrol to west Africa last week in the waters close to Gibraltar.