AMAN Exercise — A success story

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LIKE other arms of the military, Pakistan Navy has also proved itself a truly professional and capable force. Over the years, it is successfully hosting multinational maritime exercise AMAN bringing together navies from different parts of the world to share their knowledge and experience in order to better tackle maritime challenges.

The seventh edition of AMAN-2021 formally opened at the Pakistan Navy dockyard on Friday with an impressive and colourful flag-hoisting ceremony in which flags of participating countries were hoisted simultaneously. The hosting of this exercise reflects Pakistan’s intentions for building collaborative maritime security mechanisms to counter all sorts of non-traditional security threats in the Indian Ocean region, including, but not limited to , growing sea piracy, environmental, cyber and satellite communication sabotage and maritime policing issues such as illegal fishing and drug and human trafficking.

Participation of the world’s stronger naval power’s fleets including the US, China, Japan and Russia, etc, itself indicates the importance of Aman exercise which undeniably has become a success story giving a loud and clear message that Pakistan cannot be isolated in maritime domain. The steady increase in the number of participating countries in the AMAN drills since their inception shows the international community’s appreciation of Pakistan’s commitment to regional peace and security. Twenty-eight countries participated in the 2007 exercises, while 45 countries are participating this year. AMAN has two phases: at sea and at harbour. In the Sea Phase of Aman Exercise, participant fleets conduct real time operational and tactical practices, to sharpen and strengthen their response in an environment of multi-domain threat.

The sea phase also provides an opportunity to operate and increase skill levels of each other. It provides the participating units an opportunity to operate under various scenarios while undertaking multiple evolutions together, thereby enhancing interoperability amongst multiple platforms of different navies. As the threat has evolved into multifarious shapes, given its hybrid nature, the state-led maritime response should also be multi-domain in nature. Hence, AMAN Exercise is a step in the right direction owing to the changing maritime environment. No country can single-handedly tackle the diverse threats that exist or the new ones that emanate on a daily basis. Thus collaborative maritime security has become need of the hour to ensure peace and stability in the region.

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