UK: HMS Richmond Leads Multinational Exercise
Having arrived at Cape Verde (19th August), the crew of HMS Richmond did not waste any time in putting the theory learnt from the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (Narcotics) (MAOC(N)) briefings (received previously in Lisbon, Portugal), into practice with an intensive training programme.
A significant amount of work was conducted with the Cape Verde Coast Guard (CVCG), Marine Police and Judicial Police including boat drills, damage control and fire fighting techniques and also engineering briefs to support improved inter-operability.
In addition to a mentoring visit to CVCG cutter N/P Guardiao, a period of sea training was undertaken with HMS Richmond’s boarding teams working closely with their Cape Verde counterparts to develop techniques and procedures.
Commenting on the capacity building effort, HMS Richmond’s Commanding Officer, Commander Robert Pedre stated:
“The Cape Verde Coast Guard work with the Cape Verde Municipal Police and the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (Narcotics) to conduct many of their operations.
“As such we are delighted to be able to support this very important work and continue the Royal Navy’s enduring fight against illicit drugs smuggling.”
During the training package, HMS Richmond took the opportunity to incorporate the Dutch tanker HNLMS Amsterdam into the exercise for the benefit of all parties.
HNLMS Amsterdam was routing through the area and, as the Netherlands form part of the 7 EU member MAOC(N), were delighted to contribute to the exercise.
Rolling straight from boarding training with a Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) from Cape Verde Police, into a flying serial, HMS Richmond’s Lynx conducted a number of deck landings with HNLMS Amsterdam as well as transfer of personnel.
The ships then closed to conduct ship handling manoeuvres, before undertaking boarding and counter-narcotics work. This included an historic opportunity to photograph HMS Richmond in company with N/P Guardiao and HNLMS Amsterdam
HMS Richmond has worked with the Dutch Navy on numerous occasions since her refit, including during Basic Operational Sea Training, Norwegian Submarine Command Course, Joint Warrior and Directed Continuation Training. This is, however, the first opportunity to work with the Cape Verde authorities.
Press Release, August 28, 2013; Image: Royal Navy