Whilst on counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, HMS Monmouth, ‘The Black Duke’, rendezvoused with two newly refitted Kenyan patrol vessels.  KNS NYAYO and KNS UMOJA are returning to their homeport after undergoing refit in Italy.

Image by LA(Phot) Stuart Hill / MOD – Crown Copyright

In challenging weather conditions, the Kenyan warships conducted a set of Officer of the Watch manoeuvres with the Black Duke.  The patrol vessels, which can reach 40 knots, demonstrated great agility when manoeuvering in close-quarters with Monmouth.

The Black Duke broke off from the formation to launch her Lynx Mk8 helicopter and then returned to the Kenyan warships scything between the two in perfect formation for the Lynx to take photographs.

An information sharing exercise also provided an ideal opportunity to enhance maritime situational awareness.  This is a key factor in the Maritime Security Operation (MSO) Kenya will be conducting in co-operation with Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

After a few hours together, the Kenyans continued on to their homeport of Mombassa whilst Monmouth continued with her operational tasking, working with other nations to counter terrorism, prevent smuggling and disrupt and deter piracy.

Image by LA(Phot) Suart Hill / MOD - Crown Copyright

The Commanding Officer of HMS Monmouth, Commander Dean Bassett Royal Navy said: “This was an excellent opportunity to exercise at sea with the Kenyan Navy and a great example of the increasing cooperation and enduring relationship we have with an important partner in the region.

“I was most impressed with the professionalism and skills of the Kenyan sailors and look forward to working with them on future operations,” he added.

The exercise showed good interaction between Kenya and CMF and their determination to fight piracy and terrorism in the Indian Ocean. 

HMS Monmouth is currently working as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a 25-nation coalition based in Bahrain.

CTF 150 exists to create a lawful and stable maritime environment free from terrorism, smuggling and other illegal activities across an area of two million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.

Its principal mission is to deter, disrupt and defeat attempts by International Terrorist Organisations (ITOs) to use the maritime environment as a venue for an attack or as a means to transport personnel, weapons and other materials.  It does this by conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSO). CTF-150 vessels also assist mariners in distress and undertake humanitarian work as required.

With a crew of 45, KNS NYAYO and KNS UMOJA are 56.7 metres long, with a displacement of approximately 450 tonnes and can reach a maximum speed of almost 40 knots. They are currently returning back from refit period in Italy which has enhanced their capabilities to carry out coastal patrols to combat smuggling and piracy. 

HMS MONMOUTH a Type-23 frigate currently working for Coalition Task Force 150 (CTF-150) was originally designed for the principal task of anti-submarine warfare, but has evolved into powerful and versatile multi purpose ship with the capability to operate anywhere in the world.