by Benson Agoha
The photo above shows the moment the Crew of HMS Portland, a DEVONPORT, UK based Type 23 frigate that visited Lagos in February to demonstrate the UK’s commitment to Nigeria posed for photograph with the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria.
The visit described as successful saw the ship anchor at the Lagos port for three days, during which it conducted training and exercise drills for the Nigerian Navy, between February 13-15, 2014.
Information released by UK in Nigeria said "during the visit, HMS Portland conducted training with the Nigerian Navy, hosted a Security Forum in support of United Kingdom Trade and Industry and a maritime security conference," adding "a team of sailors and Royal Marines from HMS Portland conducted training with Nigerian sailors."
The training included fire fighting, damage control and maritime boarding and search techniques. Sailors from both navies also enjoyed a social event held at the Western Naval Command Headquarters in Lagos, the statement said.
The press release said HMS Portland’s Physical Training Instructor LPTI Matthew O’Brian worked with his Nigerian colleagues, assisting with the running of a fitness class and exchanging ideas to ensure that sailors remain “fit to fight and fit for life”.
LPTI Matthew O Brian said "I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to train with Physical Training Instructors from the Nigerian Navy and was impressed with the fitness level of the class that I instructed, in temperatures that reached 28°C".
On his part, Rear Admiral SI Alade, Flag Officer commanding the Nigerian Western Naval Command commented on the Nigerian Navy’s shared heritage and close working relationships and stated "We have enjoyed working with our Royal Navy partners; Nigeria’s Navy is an off shoot of the Royal Navy and we continue to work closely."
A capability demonstration was held onboard HMS Portland, which enabled the Ship’s Company to show the versatility and flexibility of the ship to a wide range of visitors.
The event concluded with a ceremonial sunset ceremony and the salute was taken by Rear Admiral SI Alade, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocock and Portland’s Commanding Officer, Commander Sarah West.
The High Commissioner said of the visit: "HMS Portland’s presence was a demonstration of continuing RN capability and deployability, which is a considerable boost to efforts to contribute to regional security and stability."
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* Photo Credit: ToI.
* UK in Nigeria is a Department of the British High Commission, Nigeria.