Lagos, Nigeria – In a bid to bolster regional maritime security and combat illegal activities, including piracy and illicit trafficking, the Royal Navy warship HMS Trent has made its second visit to Nigeria. The vessel arrived in Lagos, where it will play a crucial role in delivering capacity training and supporting maritime security efforts within the region.
HMS Trent set sail from Gibraltar, carrying a team of expert boarding personnel from the UK Royal Marines and a Puma surveillance drone, demonstrating the United Kingdom’s commitment to enhancing security in the Gulf of Guinea region.
The primary mission of HMS Trent is to support West African allies and assist countries in developing their capabilities to combat sea-based criminal activities effectively. This initiative aims to contribute to the stability of the broader West African region, which is vital considering that approximately £6 billion worth of UK trade passes through these waters.
One of the key tasks assigned to HMS Trent is to promote stability across the Gulf of Guinea through training programs. These programs empower partner navies to confront criminal actors, strengthen international ties, share valuable knowledge, and conduct patrols to improve security.
Commander Tim Langford, the Commanding Officer of HMS Trent, expressed his enthusiasm about the ship’s return to Nigeria and the mission’s significance, saying, “It is an honor for HMS Trent to return to Nigeria, an important visit on the ship’s three-month deployment to West Africa. We are excited to work with our partner nations as we strive for a long-term solution to maritime insecurity across the region.”
He also highlighted the Royal Navy’s historical engagement in the region and its enduring partnership with the Armed Forces of Nigeria. Commander Langford’s team eagerly anticipates collaborating with their Nigerian counterparts and building on the relationships established during their previous visit to Lagos in 2021.
Jonny Baxter, the UK Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, emphasized the importance of this deployment in showcasing the UK’s commitment to addressing global security challenges. He stated, “This deployment demonstrates how a truly global Britain is stepping up on the world stage to tackle shared international security challenges. Nigeria is an important and valued defense 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.”
This deployment by HMS Trent aligns with the broader international efforts of the Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (FOGG), a coalition that supports Gulf of Guinea nations in implementing regional maritime security frameworks. The objective is to bring stability to a region that has experienced disruptions in international shipping, jeopardizing the lives of seafarers and causing economic harm to local economies.
The presence of HMS Trent in Lagos serves as a symbol of collaboration between the UK and Nigeria in addressing maritime security challenges and advancing shared interests in the Gulf of Guinea. As the ship engages in training activities and patrols, it will play a vital role in fostering regional stability and protecting the vital trade routes that pass through these waters.