Dar es Salaam, Tanzania hosted British warship HMS Westminster for a working visit in mid December. The visit was aimed at sharing knowledge with Tanzanian counterparts related to maritime boarding operations.
The training package covered all aspects of boarding operations, arranged by the UK’s National Crime Agency, the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Tanzanian authorities, and comprised a three day interactive training with the Tanzania Maritime Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET).
During the first two days, spent in Dar es Salaam harbour, the Westminister’s crew demonstrated correct use of boarding equipment, questioning and handling of a vessel’s crew, first aid techniques, paperwork processing and searching of a suspect vessel for illicit cargo.
Westminster’s team also used the ship’s seaboats in order to show manners of approaching a suspect vessel.
On the final day, HMS Westminster and three Tanzanian Navy vessels simulated various boarding operations training scenarios with the LEDET thus putting into practice what they had learned during training.
The training comes in the aftermath of Westminster’s exercise with the Indian Navy,dubbed Konkan, conducted as part of the long-term commitment shared by the United Kingdom and India to maintain strong ties and develop ability to work closely and efficiently together. The exercise saw the Type 23 frigate perform a workout with Indian Navy Ship (INS) Delhi.
HMS Westminster is currently patrolling the Indian Ocean on a counter narcotics and counter piracy mission in the Gulf region, where she will remain until early this year.
Naval Today Staff, January 2, 2014; Image: Royal Navy