33 navies to participate in AMAN13 exercise

Karachi: Multinational naval exercise AMAN13 will be held from March 4–8, said Rear Admiral Khan Hasham Bin Saddique, Commander Pakistan Fleet, in media brief here Sunday.

AMAN series of multinational exercises were started in 2007 with a view to promote regional cooperation and stability, greater interoperability and to display a united resolve against terrorism and crimes in maritime domain including Piracy. AMAN13 is the fourth such exercise planned from 48 March 2013 at Karachi.

The concept of exercise is designed to provide common forum for information sharing, mutual understanding and identifying areas of common interest; to develop and practice response tactics, techniques and procedures against asymmetric and traditional threats during sea phase of the exercise, and to promote cultural connection among participating navies/ countries through depiction of respective culture.

The exercise is planned with focused objectives of display of united resolve against terrorism and crimes in maritime domain; contributing towards regional peace and stability; and enhancing interoperability between regional and extra regional navies thereby acting as a bridge between the regions.

Australia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia SOF only, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UAE, UK and USA would participate in the exercise along with naval assets, while the countries participation with observers include Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Sudan, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Tanzania, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, UAE and USA.

The media brief said the world today has become simply too interconnected and interdependent. This makes it difficult for any nation to singlehandedly provide for its own security and economic wellbeing. Since the threat of terrorism is multifaceted and has no definite face therefore it requires joint strategies and responses both at regional and international levels to deal with it.

Pakistan Navy, along with other maritime forces of the country is proactively engaged in maintaining and further improving maritime security and stability in the region as well as checking illegal activities on our coast. Being fully conscious of the emerging maritime situation of the area especially since the start of this century, navy has all along remained engaged with coalition maritime forces.

PN is the first Navy of the region to join Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan CMCP, named as Combined Task Force 150 CTF150, in 2004 formed to check illegal activities in Indian Ocean and provide safe and secure environment to sea lanes of communication. So far PN has contributed 45 ships since 2004 and have undertaken multitude of Maritime Security operations. These efforts despite resource constraints have been duly acknowledged and PN has been entrusted with the command of the Task Force 150 for five times since 2004.

Besides this, navy is also part of Combined Task Force151 formed in Jan 2009 exclusively to combat the threat of piracy in Gulf of Aden. So far, 14 PN ships have participated in this coalition and PN have also commanded this task force twice in last two years and are in command for the third time since Dec 12.

Besides joining the international coalition, PN has also taken other initiatives for collaborative maritime security. In this direction, PN initiated AMAN series of exercise in 2007 which has become a biennial event. This PN consider not only an acknowledgment of PN’s efforts but also manifests the slogan of exercise which calls for being “Together for Peace”. Though this exercise is primarily aimed to achieve the twin objectives of enhancing interoperability and promoting peace in the region, however a bunch of other interesting and mutually beneficial activities have also been planned.

The first such exercise was held in March 2007, which proved to be a major success. During this exercise 14 Ships from the Navies of Bangladesh, China, France, Italy, Malaysia, UK and USA participated. In addition to that, SOF/EOD teams from Bangladesh and Turkey also participated in Special Operation Forces SOF Exercises and 21 countries attended the exercise as observers. AMAN09 was held in March 2009 during which 14 ships, 5 Aircraft and 5 SOF teams of Australia, Bangladesh, China, France, Japan, Malaysia, UK, Nigeria, Turkey and USA participated.

Observers from 22 countries also attended the exercise. The resounding success of the first two AMAN exercises, prompted PN to expand the number of participants in AMAN11. Twenty eight navies participated in the AMAN11 including those with assets as well as observer countries. Navies with assets included Australia, China, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and USA.

The slogan for this Exercise is “together for peace” which means that all the nations participating in the AMAN have a common objective of ensuring peace and stability in the maritime arena to provide freedom of navigation and uninterrupted flow of trade.

The upcoming AMAN13, from March 48, will be instrumental in enhancing the tactical and operational readiness amongst its participating navies. Apart from the strategic relevance, existing ties between the participants will be augmented. With the participation of 36 Navies, which is by far the largest number compared to previous exercises, PN is endeavouring to establish an understanding between the cross cutting cleavages, encompassing maritime security operations, antiterrorist operations and humanitarian assistance operations.

Enhanced cooperation will definitely go miles in improving Response Tactics, Techniques and Procedures RTTP to build a sound preparedness level against conventional and nonconventional threats. Such a large number of participating countries provide us with the reassurance that the international community acknowledges Pakistan’s efforts for peace and security, and that the responsible maritime nations will work together for peace.

The exercise AMAN has grown in stature and AMAN13 has set a new benchmark with 33 navies participation including 18 ships, 9xSOF/EOD teams and a number of Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft plus ship borne helicopters. In addition, around 40 plus observers from 24 countries are also participating in AMAN13. This is far the largest number compared to previous AMAN series exercises, says a release here Sunday.