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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

British navy patrol vessel HMS Trent visits Gambia

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By Amina Kuyateh

A British navy patrol vessel HMS Trent has arrived in The Gambia, her first stop on her deployment in West Africa.

Welcoming the ship, UK’s High Commissioner in Banjul, David Belgrove OBE said:  ”I am delighted that the Royal Navy Patrol Vessel HMS Trent is visiting Banjul again to liaise with the Gambia  armed forces. This visit demonstrates the strong partnership between the UK and the Gambian military, jointly enhancing our ability to address shared security threats and celebrating the enduring friendship between our two countries.”

Whilst in The Gambia, HMS Trent’s embarked Royal Marine Boarding Team (RMBT) will continue to follow up on previous exercises conducted with the Gambia armed forces and 42 Commando.

The RMBT will share best practice with the forces in areas like search and seizure. The visit has been timed to coincide with the visit of a Royal Navy Short Term Training Team who will be working with their Gambian navy counterparts to enhance their capacity to counter threats to maritime security in The Gambia.

In addition to the RMBT’s packed schedule, the HMS Trent will host tours of the ship to members of The Gambia armed forces and senior Gambian officials – demonstrating the ship’s capabilities through her on board assets including deployable sea-boats and embarked maritime forces.

HMS Trent’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Mike Rydiard said: “This is our second visit to The Gambia and our crew of 70 sailors and royal marines are looking forward to working alongside the Gambia armed forces and experiencing the country and meeting its people”.

Captain Fatou Jaiteh Baldeh of Gambia Navy said: “The coming of British Royal Navy is important and will help the Gambia navy both theoretically and practically and that will enable us to be able to resist any crime in our sea”.

Captain Baldeh also expressed gratitude to the British High Commissioner and the HMS Trent for strengthening the bilateral relationship and their cooperation.

“HMS Trent’s maritime security operations across West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea are made possible through regional engagement, improving awareness and understanding of the area. We therefore have a full programme of hosting on board, military planning, partner force training and exercising at sea that we will complete during this exciting visit.”

After visiting The Gambia the HMS Trent will continue to patrol and visit other countries in the region. HMS Trent is one of five Royal Navy patrol ships currently operating around the world in areas of critical importance to the UK as part of the Royal Navy’s new Forward Presence Programme.

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