Royal Navy patrol ship, HMS Trent, is heading to the waters of the Gulf of Guinea for security patrols and a mission to support allies in West Africa.
Pressans Public Affairs Officer/Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office of the British High Commission in Nigeria, Ndidiamaka Eze, announced that the River-Class patrol ship would visit Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Gambia, and Cape Verde.
French-led multinational training exercises, known as Exercise Grand African Nemo, will bring together international partners in the region.
HMS Trent, the first Royal Navy vessel to operate in the region in three years, will conduct maritime security patrols as well as support partner navies through the development of key maritime skills and planning for future operations in the region.
As stated in the statement, the deployment is a clear signal that the UK is committed to pursuing a more persistent engagement with the region, where more than £6 billion in UK trade is transacted each year.
James Haeppey, the UK’s armed forces minister, was quoted in the statement as saying, “This deployment demonstrates the Integrated Review in action. Global Britain is stepping up on the world stage to address shared international security challenges.
Together with our allies, we are deploying our forward-deployed Armed Forces to tackle threats at the source, making the world a safer place for all.”
It noted the vessel would carry a contingent of Royal Marines from 42 Commando, which would train partner forces across the region in skills such as boarding and searching suspicious vessels, as well as evidence handling and medical skills.
Acting UK High Commissioner to Nigeria Ben Llewellyn-Jones was quoted as saying, “Nigeria is an important and valued partner for the UK in West Africa.”.
As two countries facing many shared threats, we are eager to work with Nigeria to defeat these threats and to improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, including counterpiracy.