UK: HMS Richmond Simulates Counter Narcotics Operation
HMS Richmond, currently undertaking high intensity training at Flag Officer Sea Training in preparation for her forthcoming deployment, successfully completed yesterday a simulated counter narcotics operation with a multi-million pound drugs seizure.
Throughout the exercise HMS Richmond worked in close liaison with the Cape Verde Coastguard Law Enforcement Detachment and representatives from the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (who embarked in HMS Richmond for the exercise), in order to seize a multi-million pound cocaine shipment in a co-ordinated search of a suspect vessel off the coast of West Africa (represented by the South Coast Exercise Areas off Plymouth).
Utilising HMS Richmond’s boarding and flight teams, the vessel suspected of trafficking drugs was closed by the Ship’s sea boats whilst the Ship’s helicopter maintained over watch throughout.
Following a thorough search of the vessel a sizeable quantity of illegal drugs were found and subsequently impounded.
Commenting on the training exercise, Commander Robert G Pedre, HMS Richmond’s Commanding Officer said,
“The Royal Navy maintains an enduring commitment to the fight against illicit drugs trafficking. My team has received first class instruction from the Flag Officer Sea Training staff to ensure our readiness for boarding operations.”
HMS Richmond is currently nearing the end of an intensive period of training at Flag Officer Sea Training and will soon undertake a comprehensive maintenance period in her base port before deploying later this year.
Press Release, May 23, 2013; Image: Royal Navy