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Tangier visit opens opportunities for Gib Squadron training with Moroccan Navy

HMS DAGGER has completed her first overseas visit since commissioning last July by visiting Tangier, Morocco, opening up the opportunity for further visits and training with the Moroccan Navy.

The most recent surface ship commissioned into the Royal Navy conducted her first port visit away from her base port of Gibraltar.

“This extremely successful visit is the first time either Cutlass-class vessel has visited a port other than Gibraltar where they are permanently based as part of the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron,” HQ British Forces Gibraltar said in a statement.

Deploying from HMNB Gibraltar, the 40nm transit through the Strait of Gibraltar was little work for HMS Dagger, which has a top speed of over 40kts thanks to her three waterjets and Volvo Penta engines.

HMS Dagger and her crew received a hearty welcome on their arrival into Tangier by the local authorities and the Marine Royale, the Moroccan Navy.

“HMS Dagger’s visit, albeit short, had a big impact and has opened the door for more visits to Tangier and elsewhere,” the statement said.

“The Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron are aiming to expand this relationship to include drills at sea with the Cutlass-Class Royal Navy patrol launch and the Marine Royale patrol vessels based at Tangier to improve the interoperability between the two services.”

The Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron has previously visited Tangier a couple of times a year, including supporting the November Remembrance weekend.

But COVID-19 restrictions and the complexities with commissioning a new class of vessel had put these visits on pause.

HMS Dagger’s Commanding Officer said: “Everyone assumes that the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron are on a permanent tether to the Rock.”

“Although our main tasking is protecting the sovereignty of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, conducting wider regional engagement with our allies as part of a global, modern and ready navy, is also extremely important.”

“HMS DAGGER was given a fantastic welcome by our Moroccan friends and the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron are already looking forward to our next visit later this year.”

HMS Cutlass and HMS Dagger are state-of-the-art vessel’s purpose built for operating within British Gibraltar Territorial Waters to demonstrate and protect the UK’s sovereignty of Gibraltar.

The Squadron operates at extremely high readiness 365 days a year.

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