09/02/2017 17:18

Pakistan has launched AMAN 2017 exercises

A media brief was held at PN Fleet Headquarters today in connection with Pakistan Navy’s multinational exercise AMAN 2017. Commander Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussaini addressed the media and gave details of the exercise.

Commander Pakistan Fleet said that traditionally, threats to the maritime security arise from the regional conflicts and political interests. These new security challenges have also changed the maritime environment. Today, threats such as piracy, human smuggling and drug trafficking etc have made the security of Indian Ocean more complex. In this changing scenario, maritime security challenges need to be focused collectively by the international community as no country can counter these challenges single handedly. Therefore, to meet these growing challenges, we need cooperation and mutual trust at regional and international level.

Admiral Hussaini said that Pakistan, due to its geographical location; being situated at the crossroad of three important regions of Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia and for its vicinity to the global energy highway, Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz, is considered an important country. Furthermore, with the inception of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Gwadar Port, maritime activity in the North Arabian Sea is likely to be increased manifold.

Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussain

Commander Pakistan Fleet said that for regional maritime security, Pakistan Navy strengthened its relations with its allies and by means of its sincere efforts at the international level, also ensured the safety of sea traders. Under the fold of Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP) in the North Arabian Sea, we were the first to join Task Force – 150, which is intended for eradicating terrorism, illegal human, drugs and arms trafficking in the maritime domain. Let me tell you that in 2009, according to the resolutions of United Nations, Pakistan Navy along with other reputed naval forces, joined CTF-151 which is meant to counter piracy. Besides North Arabian Sea, Pakistan Navy ships are also ensuring free sea trade in the waters of Gulf of Aden.

With all these efforts, Pakistan Navy has been regularly organizing Multinational naval exercise AMAN. This exercise will provide an opportunity to gather international maritime community at one platform to promote peace and stability. The exercise includes present day maritime operations as well as professional and cultural activities ashore.

Admiral Hussaini apprised the audience that multinational naval exercise AMAN 17 has been divided into two phases i.e Harbour and Sea phases. Harbour phase includes flag hoisting ceremony at the onset of the exercise wherein flags of all participating countries will be hoisted. This phase will be followed by visits of participants from all countries to each others’ ships, meetings of senior officers and representatives of all participating countries with Pakistani high officials, sports fixtures between teams of participating countries and cultural show to highlight their culture, International Maritime Counter Terrorism Demo, International Bands Display and above all an International Maritime Conference in which participants from various countries will present their research papers. In addition, different meetings for preparation of two-day sea exercise are also included in the harbour phase, he added.

On conclusion of harbour phase, sea phase commences in which basic and high level exercises will be conducted wherein, ships, aircraft, helicopters and special operations forces will participate in diversified sea based activities including Gunnery Firings, Rocket Depth Charge Firing, Anti Piracy Demonstrations, Replenishment at Sea and Fly Past. International Fleet Review by all participating ships will formally culminate the exercise.

Dwelling upon the aims and objectives of the exercise, the Admiral said that the primary objective of this exercise is to have a platform which can promote mutual understanding and interests. In addition, the exercise is intended to devise procedures and techniques against conventional and non conventional threats. Previously, four exercises of AMAN series have been organized in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 in which large number of ships, Special Operation Forces (SOF) and observers from leading navies of the region/world participated.

The current exercise is the fifth of the series, being held from 10-14 February 2017, in which 37 countries are participating. With Pakistan the host country, other participating countries are Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Sudan, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, UK and USA. Out of 15 ships, China, USA and Russia are participating with three ships each, while one each from Turkey, Great Britain, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Australia. In addition, two P3C Orion aircraft from Japan, five helicopters (accompanying ships of eight of these countries), 11 Special Operations Forces and Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Marines teams arriving from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Nigeria, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Great Britain and USA are also participating along with delegates from participating countries.

Presence of these friendly navies from all over the world is a manifestation of firm resolve of international community towards peace and stability in the Indian Ocean. Active participation of these countries along with their naval forces is indicative of our professional capabilities. The Admiral said that conduct of this Multinational naval exercise AMAN 17, will further strengthen relations of Pakistan Navy with regional and extra regional countries.