Royal Navy to join security forces in the Gulf of Guinea

On the 10th of August, we published news that the US Navy vessel USS Hershel “Woody” Williams arrived in Lagos, Nigeria as part of the U.S. government’s support to help combat piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. According to news reports, the U.K. has also joined in this effort. Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Trent is reported to be setting sail to the Gulf of Guinea to undertake security patrols and a mission to support allies in West Africa.

Becoming the first Royal Navy vessel to operate in the area for three years, the deployment is meant to demonstrate the UK’s commitment to being more persistently engaged in the region as international efforts are concentrating on improving security in the Gulf of Guinea after a very violent 2020, which included an increase in kidnappings from commercial vessels.

The Maritime Executive reports that during her deployment to the Gulf of Guinea, she will also 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. HMS Trent carries onboard 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. The team is trained in boarding operations which will help the fight against illegal activity like piracy, drugs-smuggling, and terrorism.

“This deployment demonstrates how Britain is stepping up on the world stage to tackle shared international security challenges,” said the U.K.’s Armed Forces Minister James Heappey. “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.”

You can read the full Maritime Executive article here – Royal Navy joins Maritime Security effort