The United Kingdom Royal Navy patrol ship, HMS Trent is bound for West Africa on a mission to support Nigeria and other countries in West Africa fight maritime insecurity.
This was revealed 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, Ndidiamaka Eze.
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 the region, through which over £6 billion of UK trade passes every year.
UK’s 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 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.
HMS Trent will also take part in the Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (FoGG) G7++ conference in Dakar, which the UK is co-chairing with host Senegal. Britain established the group in 2013 as part of the then G8 to coordinate regional maritime security efforts.
HMS Trent finished preparations for her patrol to West Africa this week in the waters close to Gibraltar, refreshing skills following a period of maintenance and a rotation of crew.
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