The third of five new River-class offshore patrol vessel being built for the Royal Navy entered service on August 3, just hours before starting her maiden deployment to the Mediterranean.
Trent received her commissioning order in a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base before getting underway to take part in NATO’s ongoing maritime security operation Sea Guardian. The operation deters international crime and terrorism and develops a picture of daily maritime activity by using a range of vessels and maritime patrol aircraft, all under the operational control of NATO’s Maritime Command at Northwood in Middlesex.
HMS Trent was built on the Clyde by BAE Systems and delivered to the Royal Navy in December. She hoisted the White Ensign immediately after arriving at her home base in Portsmouth and has since been through Operational Sea Training and a variety of workouts to prepare her for this deployment.
She will train and patrol with NATO forces in the task group, work with other partners in the region to develop closer ties and provide a vehicle for the UK’s international engagement.
HMS Trent’s Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr James Wallington-Smith, said: “It’s my honour and privilege to take HMS Trent from the start of her career in the Royal Navy to her first operational deployment as part of a key NATO mission in the Mediterranean.”
HMS Trent is the third of five River-class offshore patrol vessels to be built for the Royal Navy within a second batch which has been provided with upgraded capabilities. They are faster, more heavily armed, can accommodate more personnel and can crucially conduct helicopter operations with aircraft up to the size of Merlin, operated by the Royal Navy and other NATO allies.
The ship’s company has 65 ratings and officers with about two-thirds of them crewing the vessel at any time in a three-watch system. While two watches are on board the third watch can take leave or conduct personal and collective training and courses.
Watch rotations will take place within ports visited by HMS Trent, in common with the Royal Navy’s other offshore patrol vessels, which helps to keep them available at sea for about 320 days of the year.