Aman-17 int’l exercise kick starts from tomorrow

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Salahuddin Haider

Karachi

Pakistan Navy hosts a five day international naval exercise named Aman-17 in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Karachi from tomorrow.
The multinational exercise, themed “Together for peace,” will feature harbour and sea phases including a variety of activities namely Search & Rescue (SAR) Operations, gunnery drills, anti-piracy demonstrations, replenishment at sea (RAS) and maritime counter-terrorism demonstrations.
‘Aman-17’ will include ships, aircraft, helicopters, Special Operations Forces (SOF), Explosives Ordinance Disposal (EOD), marine teams and observers from regional as well extra-regional navies.
The joint drill will bring together Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, observers from 31 countries will also attend the event.
Commander Pakistan Navy Fleet Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussaini at a media conference Wednesday highlighted significance of Aman-17 naval exercise.
He said Aman-17 rejects PN’s capacity to defend Pakistan sea-line and its territorial waters
The initiative, taken by defenders of our sea lanes taken as far back as in 2007, has now assumed new dimension as such diverse and powerful naval forces like those of USA,UK, Japan, Australia, China, besides those of Gulf States like UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman would be an assembly of real grandeur, and a matter of pride for the countrymen.
An added attraction this time will be presence of three naval ships from Russia. China and America each are also sending three of their ships, one each from Turkey, Great Britain, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Australia out of tally of 15, In addition two PC-3 Orion aircraft from Japan, five helicopters, accompanying ships of eight of these countries,11 special operation forces, and EOD teams will come from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Nigeria, . There will be large number of observers too, said Commander Pakistan Fleet.
Pakistan air force will be playing a key role, and cooperation has also been extended from Army, Rangers, and Police, for which admiral Hussaini was grateful to them.
Over the years, our officers and sailors have equipped themselves with modern strategies, latest equipment, and have become a real force to reckon with, which when time comes, will be proven as a real shield for the nation.
Biggest and happiest of all of this entire episode is the –long awaited recognition from government authorities that Navy has to be given a place of eminence in national defence strategy, for in war and peace, its role is multi-dimensional, huge in character. Navy is not only just a name, or a fighting force, troops carrier during emergencies, but a hawk-eyed vigil for our shores for trade supplies, and in war it keeps our sea lanes open for much needed supplies, including essential commodities like oil, and uninterrupted trade that keeps a national economy going.
Commander Pakistan Fleet said security challenges, arising from regional conflicts and political interests, have changed the maritime environment. Today, threats such as piracy, human smuggling, and drug trafficking etc, have made the security of Indian Ocean more complex. That demands collective effort from international community as solitary efforts may turn out a futile exercise.
Emphasising that Pakistan’s maritime challenges are mainly due to geographical location, the country being situated at crossroads 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 Straits of Hormuz, Pakistan acquires special place.
He said Pakistan Navy is also ensuring free sea trade in the waters of Gulf of Aden. PN has been regularly organising naval exercise “AMAN” to make Pakistan a peaceful but strong country.