The Royal Navy's HMS Trent has set sail from Gibraltar to the waters of the Gulf of Guinea as she heads for security patrols and a mission to support allies in West Africa.
The River-class patrol ship will visit Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Gambia and Cape Verde and take part in French-led multinational training exercises – bringing together international partners in the region.
She is the first Navy vessel to operate in the region for three years and will help partner nations to develop key maritime skills and develop plans for future operations in the region, the Ministry of Defence said.
Commander Thomas Knott, HMS Trent's Commanding Officer, said the deployment "marks an important return to the region for the Royal Navy".
"We are extremely proud and excited to commence this deployment to what is an exciting new region for HMS Trent."
HMS Trent carries a contingent of Royal Marines from 42 Commando, that will train with forces across the region.
They will focus on skills like the boarding and searching of suspicious vessels, as well as evidence handling and medical techniques.
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And the commandos, experts in boarding operations, will also help fight illegal activity like piracy, drug-smuggling and terrorism.
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said the deployment "demonstrates how a truly Global Britain is stepping up on the world stage to tackle shared international security challenges".
"Working hand-in-hand with our allies we are utilising our forward deployed Armed Forces to tackle threats at the source, making the world a safer place for all."
HMS Trent will also attend the Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (FoGG) G7++ conference in Dakar, which the UK is co-chairing with hosts Senegal.
Britain established the group in 2013 as part of the then G8 to co-ordinate regional maritime security efforts.