For the first time in 15 years, the Royal UK Navy has visited Guinea in West Africa, when HMS Iron Duke put into Conakry for four days.
Going alongside in the city port the warship was joined by RFA Black Rover to conduct capability development and training for Guinean forces.
The two ships combined forces for an official reception hosted onboard HMS Iron Duke along with a capability demonstration of boarding ops, fire-fighting and war-fighting capability. The reception was attended by the British Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Graham Styles and other VIP guests including the Guinean Chief of Defence as well as Ambassadors from France, Malaysia, Japan, Egypt and the USA. Ceremonial Sunset closed the event with the Ship’s Guard marching on and saluting the white ensign as it was lowered in front of over 80 guests.
Royal Navy sailors worked with their opposite numbers in the Guinean Navy to develop their navigational skills, fire-fighting techniques and seamanship. The Ship also hosted a Maritime Security Conference with the Head of the Guinean Navy to discuss tactics for dealing with illegal activity such as drug smuggling, armed robbery and fishery violations.
Over the next few days, the Ship’s Company engaged with local forces and ordinary people which included a community project to the Sabu School in Conakry.
HMS Iron Duke sailed from Conakry straight into exercises with both the Guinean Navy and the French Navy, conducting traditional Officer of the Watch Manoeuvres as well as combined Air and Sea formation manoeuvres with the Guinean fisheries protection aircraft. HMS Iron Duke sent some of her personnel over to the Guinean Patrol vessels; a double exchange effort was achieved by sending across the French speaking, German exchange officer currently serving as an officer of the watch. The object of the exercise was to put into practice lessons learnt, at sea during combined patrols with HMS Iron Duke, RFA Black Rover and Commandant Blaison,