By Mary BASSEY, Senior Investigator Correspondent, Lagos/
LAGOS- THE perennial uncertainties on West Africa waters consequent upon large scale insecurity may soon give way to calmness and serenity with the Royal Navy deploying her HMS Trent for the Purpose. Sources said the HMS Trent; a river class patrol ship would be setting sail in the gulf of guinea for the first time in three years. The Patrol ship is expected to berth in five West Africa countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal Gambia and Cape Verde during which she would participate in the French-led multinational training exercises codenamed Exercise Grand Africa Nemo EGAN adding that the essence was aimed at uniting international partners within the region and help develop key marital skills in the fight against unwanted elements on the high seas.
A statement credited to the UK Armed Forces Minister, James Heappey and made available to CrimeWorld magazine online quoted him as saying, “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.
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 utilizing 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 (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 G8 to coordinate regional maritime security efforts.”
In the same vein, HMS Trent’s Commanding Officer, Commander Thomas Knott was also quoted as saying, “Continuing a year of forward deployed operations in the Black Sea and Mediterranean, this deployment marks an important return to the region for the Royal Navy demonstrating our commitment to improving Maritime Security in the area.
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.”
Speaking also, the UK’s Acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ben Llewellyn-Jones was equally quoted as saying, “Nigeria is an important and valued defence partner for the UK in West Africa. Our two countries face many shared threats and we are keen to work with Nigeria to defeat these and to help improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, including in areas such as counter-piracy.”
It was gathered that “HMS Trent is one of five Royal Navy patrol ships which are currently operating around the world in areas of critical importance to the UK – from the Indo-Pacific, South Atlantic to the Mediterranean and Caribbean. This is part of the Royal Navy’s Forward Presence programme that seeks to put patrol ships in positions around the globe ready to respond to global events. 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.”
Copyright CrimeWorld: All rights reserved. It is an offense to either broadcast, reproduce, rewrite, publish and redistribute this material partly or wholly without the express permission from Frontpage CrimeWorld Publishers Nigeria Limited, Publishers of CrimeWorld Magazines and weekly newspapers.