UK’s patrol ship HMS Trent joins NATO task force in Mediterranean

Royal Navy’s patrol ship HMS Trent has taken its place alongside NATO vessels in the alliance’s Mediterranean task force. For the first time this year, the vessel has joined Maritime Group 2, the second of NATO’s two permanent naval forces.

Credit: Royal Navy

The vessel’s task is to monitor activity in the Eastern Med, operating in accordance with international law and supported by the participating allies and partners. In addition, there are frequent exercises to keep the NATO force at the top of their game, according to the navy officials.

Group 2, currently patrolling the eastern Med, comprises Italian flagship ITS Margottini, Spanish Blas de Lezo and Turkish TCG Goksu.

It promotes the alliance, hones seafaring and operational skills so that in a crisis – from conflict to disaster relief – its forces can work together seamlessly to maximum effect.

HMS Trent, which has recently been in Souda Bay in Crete, has been conducting propulsion tests to push the engines (and engineers) to the limit (sitachieved in excess of 24kts), gunnery exercises and maritime security operations, checking on passing shipping.

“Trent’s ship’s company are delighted to join NATO’s Standing  Maritime Group Two in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said Commanding Officer Commander Tom Knott.

“Maritime forces are a highly-responsive first line of defence, and as a permanently forward-deployed ship we take pride in our ability to deploy quickly and reach remote locations. Through this standing task, we secure freedom of the seas and demonstrate freedom of navigation over 2,000 miles away from the United Kingdom.”

After its time attached to the NATO force, HMS Trent will remain forward deployed to the Mediterranean, promoting security and stability alongside our regional partners.

HMS Trent, the third of the Royal Navy’s second-batch River-class offshore patrol vessels, departed on its first deployment in 2020. Then, the vessel also sailed  for the Mediterranean to add its weight to NATO’s ongoing maritime security operation there.

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HMS Trent was built at the Clyde by BAE Systems and delivered to the Royal Navy in December 2019.