Lancaster passes on skills to Ghana Navy

Exercises on dealing with the threats of organised crime and terrorism to painting a village school were on the agenda as HMS Lancaster visited Tema in Ghana.

Accompanied by RFA Gold Rover, it was the 18th port visit of the Queen’s Frigate’s nine-month South Atlantic Deployment.

Lancaster hosted a counter-narcotic operations study day, attended by the UK’s National Crime Agency as well as representatives from the US Drug Enforcement Agency, the Ghanaian Attorney General’s Office and many others.

Lancaster’s gunnery officer Lt Matt Taborda said: “Tackling the flow of illegal drugs is a key role for the Royal Navy and one that can have very immediate and tacit results.

Our time in Ghana could not have been better

Sgt Tromba USMC

“Trafficking routes fluctuate and owing to the huge distances involved, intelligence-led operations are vital to countering the trade.

“Understanding the complex nature of the business is best achieved by working with partners in West Africa in conjunction with our police colleagues.”

Lancaster also delivered some training packages to the Ghanaian Navy.

The ship’s Royal Marines Boarding Team, along with a US Marine Corp team, conducted a three-day programme, including boarding tactics, patrolling and close-quarter battle techniques.

L/Cpl Pat Coy said: “Having the opportunity to work alongside the USMC along the West Coast of Africa has been a lot of fun.

“It has allowed us to see a really interesting part of world whilst also training with a variety of different African military forces.”

Sgt Tromba (USMC) said: “Our time in Ghana could not have been better. It has been a privilege to work together with the Ghanaian forces and I’m looking forward to delivering more training packages with the Royal Marine Commandos over the rest of the deployment.”

Medical Training was also well received by Ghanaian Navy doctors, nurses and medics. The group of eight were welcomed onboard and given an extensive tour of the ship.

They were able to see how the First Aid Organisation operates when the ship is at sea, and were given a run down of the equipment held in the sickbay and first aid posts.

A hands-on teaching session was also delivered focusing on the management of severe trauma and basic life support skills.