Commander Sarah West, Commanding Officer HMS Portland during a visit to the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu


28 February, 2014

The frigate HMS Portland left the UK last month for a seven-month mission in the South Atlantic carrying out maritime security operations including counter-
narcotics and anti-piracy patrols. The ship, closely linked with Weymouth and Portland and includes some Dorset crew, is covering huge distances and was
last in Cape Verde working with the

It then sailed to Nigeria to help with ‘defence diplomacy’ in the region and welcomed many guests onboard. The ship conducted training with the Nigerian Navy, hosted a Security Forum in support of United Kingdom Trade and
Industry and a maritime security

A team of sailors and Royal Marines from HMS Portland also conducted training with Nigerian sailors. The training included fire fighting,damage control and maritime boarding and search techniques. Sailors from both navies also enjoyed a social event held at the Western Naval Command Headquarters in Lagos.

Leading Physical Training Instructor
Matthew O’Brian worked with his
Nigerian colleagues, assisting with the running of a fitness class and exchanging ideas to ensure that sailors remain “fit to fight and fit for life”. He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to train with instructors from the Nigerian Navy and was impressed with the fitness level of the class that I
instructed, in temperatures that reached 28 degrees.”

Rear Admiral S.I. Alade, Flag Officer
commanding the Nigerian Western Naval Command commented on the Nigerian Navy’s shared heritage and close working
relationships. He said: “We have enjoyed working with our Royal Navy partners. Nigeria’s Navy is
an offshoot of the Royal Navy and we continue to work closely.”

A capability demonstration was held onboard HMS Portland which enabled the ship’s company to show the versatility and flexibility of the ship to a wide range of
visitors. The event concluded with a
ceremonial sunset ceremony.

The salute was taken by Rear Admiral Alade, the British High Comissioner to Nigeria Dr Andrew Pocock and HMS Portland’s Commanding Officer, Commander Sarah West.

Dr Pocock said : “HMS Portland’s presence was a demonstration of continuing RN capability and deployability, which is a considerable boost to efforts to contribute regional security and stability”


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. peccavi says:

    Royal Navy PTI? They would be better off with the Boys Scouts!

  2. triggah says:

    Any foreign naval vessel is welcome. This will show our politicians an array of different weapon system, since they still think mig 21 fishbed are the latest in terms of defence. Anyway HMS portland is commanded by a woman! First I have seen.

  3. Yagazie says:

    @triggah- some US warahips which have visited Nigeria in the past as part of the African Partnership Station programme have been commanced by women. Once again a british naval vessel comes visiting and we waste time engaging in n ‘fire-fighting/first aid’ and ‘physical training’ excercises – I tire o!!.

  4. Oje says:

    You call fire fighting and first aid time wasting? in a combat scenario in the middle of the Atlantic ships with little or no training in fire fighting and first aid risk losing all onboard with a little fire incident or missile/torpedo attack.

    • OriginalPato says:

      Oga Oje if by now the Nigerian Navy never sabi fire fighting and first aid technics after countless training with every Tom, Dick and Harry Naval ship that sails into our waters, they should be disbanded. *mtscheeeew*

  5. Yagazie says:

    @Oje- much respect for your views. The points you raise are valid. However please go back and read past naval entries on this blog. The nigerian navy has had NUMEROUS training excercises on ‘fire fighting/first aid’ procedures with foreign western navies especially under the auspices of the US run ‘African Parnership Station’ programe. They should now be so proficient at this that It should be something that they can do internally as a matter of routine.

    Furthermore, such exercises were appropriate when our fleet was virtually non-existent and the ongoing fleet re-capitilization had just started. However our navy is now well past that initial re-capilization stage and as such when foreign naval vessels now visit, we should be engaging in PROPER NAVAL EXERCISES.

    Case in point – you will not find a Western Naval Vessel visiting a serious african naval power like South Africa or Morroco or Algeria or Eygpt for the purposes of engaging in ‘fire-fighting/first aid’ excercises. Such vessels will conduct serious naval excercises /wargames with the aforementioned navies. Please don’t take my word for it- do some research on your own and confirm the veracity or otherwise of what I have written on this point. As I have previously stated on this blog, it is either such foreign navies engage in serious naval excercises with our navy when they visit Nigeria or they should simply stay way.

    Let’s not forget that a chinse research vessel visited Nigeria about April last year(?) and over a ten day period (i stand to be corrected) engaged with our navy in a detailed hydrographical survey of our coastal waters. China is a world economic power, a permanent member of the UN Security Council with a very credible millitary (and navy).

    That is the type of serious naval co-operation we want- based on mutual respect- that meets our training requirments, not silly first aid excercises conducted by visiting western naval warships who feel that they are doing us a favour and I have no apologies for having this view.

  6. G8T Nigeria says:

    I heard an Italian Navy Aircraft Carrier is in Nigeria. Good one for NN diplomatic growth.

  7. startrek says:

    nigerian military being what it is , firefighting/first aid is just the official story ,i believe other things do happen beyond the general view

  8. Tope says:

    @Startrek, Exactly! Fire-Fighting is a Cover Story….but dis wan wey Italian and British Ships dey Nija are we safe? Hmmmm I’m kind of Wary when we get Visited by Brazil, Italy and now UK in a space of 2 months…good tidings ba? If USA can Give us Ships we Ask our “Friends” to da Same, Give us Ships…..abi na Wishful thinking?.

  9. startrek says:

    Don’t worry much about them western gift we can by it if the can sell it to us problem is they won’t. they will happily sell to our neighbours at less cost. However as long as they allow us onboard we will sooner than later build one even better and I kid you not .
    nobe naija we be…

  10. Spirit. says:

    Being one of the most secretive militaries in the world, I believe that there is a possibility that the frequent ‘fire fighting’, ‘first aid’ and ‘Man overboard’ exercises that the NN has conducted with virtually every navy that has ventured near the Golf of Guinea in the past two years might actually be a cover (just like the Russian readiness exercise) for ‘serious’ training and maneuvers. but, if its not, then I say enough is enough!

    The NN has been ‘taught’ these very important stuff by the Spanish Navy, the US Navy, the Italian Navy, the Royal Navy and countless others. I beg, make dem teach us other stuffs bo, we are not dullards!

    I remember the glorious days of the NN in the late ’80, it was the era of large scale maneuvers with Brazilian Navy, German Navy etc.When last did the NN fire an AshM, a SAM in training?
    Whatever variations Fire fighting, MOB etc may have, I think learning it from about five different navies would have covered it.

    Could the love of NN for these basic training be because the ogas at TRADOC dare not risk the few ships in their ORBAT being mistakenly ‘hit’ during serious training? If that be the case, then it is very bad. The more realistic the training , the less casualties in battle. Take the boys to the edge of hell now, they will thank you when the devil eventually comes calling. Take them to ‘Chapter 2’

  11. doziex says:

    If you take yourself seriously, others would too.

  12. Spirit. says:

    Oga Doziex, you don talk am finish.

  13. Yagazie says:

    Gentlemen- defence web blog reports that the French Frigate Nivosa will be in Durban next week for a 4 day visit. Ship is a regular visitor to South Africa and took part in naval excercises Oxide 1 and 2 in 2011 and 2013 respectively off the Mozambique Coast with the South African Navy.

    Oga Oje, please note that during this visit no ‘fire-fighting/first aid/physical training excercises’ are on the cards- its serious joint naval excercises. The French know better than to suggest such ridiculous training programmes to the South Africans. As Oga Doziex has said- if you take yourself seriously, others would too. I rest my case.

  14. rka says:

    The problem is we don’t have a modern enough navy with state of the art equipment to conduct exercises with western navies. What can we learn if we don’t have platforms with ASuW, ASW or SAM systems? Of what benefit will western navies get trying to exercise with us when we can’t provide them with any kind of realistic scenarios when there are no Corvettes, Frigates, Destroyers, Submarines, ASW helos, etc?

    Fire fighting and boarding techniques it is I am afraid until we get serious with procurement.

  15. Yagazie says:

    @rka – A very good and valid observation. The South Africans have FOUR ‘Valour Class’ Meko 200 frigates, FOUR Lynx AsW helos for each of the firgates and THREE Type 209 Submarines in their naval inventory. With the possible exception of NNS Aradu (which is currently inactive), our navy does not have any real naval platform. Opvs are not in (my book) real naval platforms as they are best suited for coast gaurd/fishery protection duties. Hopefully with the re-capitalization of our Navy, all these platforms (i.e. – destroyers, frigates, corvettes, submarines, LPDs , fixed wing maritime patrol aircraft and AsW helos) will eventually be acquired (‘competing demands’ permitting) so that we can have a true combat capable navy in the real sense of the word.

  16. Yagazie says:

    @rka- thanks. By the way nice rejoinder to the article on the defence web blog which alleging that our troops have lost control of the North East to the BH insurgents. Well Done. Wish these news agencies (Rueters no less) would get their facts right, stop quoting ‘unamed sources’ and write balanced articles on the conflict.

    • rka says:

      @Yagazie, thanks, you followed up nicely as well. Good work by you also in putting right the comment of a blogger on their report about our OPVs being launched. I thought it was laughable what the blogger said in relation to us needing small boats etc. Good work.

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