June 15, 2021 – HMS Trent has completed her first ever mission to the Black Sea as she settles into life as one of the Royal Navy’s forward deployed patrol ships.
Trent is on an enduring mission to the Mediterranean, having left the UK at the end of March to begin operations that will continually see her be a presence across the Med and south into the tropical waters of the Atlantic in the Gulf of Guinea.
As part of that, Trent headed for the Black Sea to work closely with the Ukrainian Navy and for a visit to Odesa, a port city in southern Ukraine and home to the headquarters of their navy.
In Odesa, Trent hosted British ambassador Melinda Simmons, the head of the Ukrainian Navy, Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa, Defence Attaché to Ukraine, Commodore Tim Woods, along with many other high ranking military and civilian guests.
A memorandum of understanding was signed while Trent was in port and was presented at the event the ship hosted.
“We are very proud to be a part of this momentous occasion between Ukraine and Great Britain – a great example of Global Britain in action,” said HMS Trent’s First Lieutenant, Lieutenant Nicola Hall.
“We are looking forward to returning to Odesa again and hopefully meeting up with our Ukrainian counterparts in the future.”
While alongside in the Black Sea port, Trent laid on some training for the Ukrainian Navy.
Although unable to do this training aboard the ship because of Covid-19 restrictions, the sailors were able to work together on a wide range of skills.
Once this intensive phase of training was complete, Trent headed to sea to work with Starobilsk, an Island-class patrol boat, and degaussing ship, Balta.
“The 48 hours at sea were action-packed, with Trent taking the lead on a number of serials,” said Able Seaman (Above Water Warfare Weapons) ‘Stan’ Matthews.
It was the first time Trent had sailed in the Black Sea and the same can be said for many of the sailors on board.
The unique experience of sailing through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles – two narrows which divide Europe and Asia – was a highlight for the crew.
“We navigated though the Bosporus strait and the Dardanelles in glorious sunshine, and it was amazing to see Europe out to port, and Asia to starboard – not many people can say they have seen this part of the world in the manner that we did,” said Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) Taff McMullan.
“On arrival into the Black Sea we were greeted by a Turkish ship; they were welcoming and wished us a safe transit and passage.”
After entering the Black Sea, Trent worked closely with Commandant Birot, a French Navy corvette, before the two parted ways on their respective missions.
The River-class Batch 2 is one of five built for the Royal Navy to be a forward presence in areas of strategic importance to the UK, joining her sister ships dotted around the world in locations from the South Atlantic, the Caribbean and, in the near future, the regions east of the Suez Canal.
Trent has now continued her patrol to Albania for Defence Engagement activity and will return to the Eastern Mediterranean via the Messina Strait.