News story

Royal Navy warship prepares for counter-narcotics assignment

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

HMS Argyll has stopped at Lisbon to be briefed on the illegal drugs trade off west Africa in preparation for her Atlantic deployment.

The Plymouth-based frigate arrived in Portugal after leaving the UK a week ago for a 7-month deployment so that the ship’s crew could be briefed on their impending mission by leaders in the fight against the illegal narcotics trade.

Lisbon is home to the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre - Narcotics, an international crime-fighting organisation of European nations, including the UK, responsible for tackling drug-trafficking from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa to the North Cape in Norway.

Experts from the centre joined representatives of the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership on board HMS Argyll to offer advice on her impending operations in west African waters.

HMS Argyll alongside in Lisbon
HMS Argyll alongside in Lisbon, Portugal [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Pepe Hogan, Crown copyright]

Commander Tim Neild, HMS Argyll’s commanding officer, said:

As we prepare for operations, it is vital that my team are fully briefed and up-to-date on the illicit activity off the west African coast and the operations centre in Portugal is the centre of excellence in this field.

With their advice my team is now fully equipped and ready to join in the global fight against narcotics and I am confident that we will deliver success in all that is asked of us.

On completion of her tasking in the Atlantic the ship will undertake a number of high-profile regional engagement visits before returning to Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport, Plymouth, at the end of the summer.