KARACHI, Oct 15: Pakistan Navy plans to add four more marine battalions to its force.

This was announced by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila at the commissioning ceremony of the second Pak Marines Battalion and induction of radar-controlled guns and low-level air defence radars at the Pak Marines Headquarters at PNS Qasim against the backdrop of the Arabian Sea here on Monday.

“Today is a big day in the history of Pakistan Navy as we have reached another major milestone by adding to our marines’ strength with the passing out of the 2nd Pak Marines Battalion. Like any other fine defence force in the world, Pak Marines, too, with their spirit of commitment, have been there where needed for the external and internal security of their nation, like during natural disasters when they played an active role in the saving and rehabilitation of 2010 and 2011 flood victims. Even now they are very much involved in helping the flood victims in Jafarabad, Balochistan.

“Seeing their fine work and looking at the need of the country there is work under way for acquiring approval of another four marine battalions by Pakistan Navy,” said the chief of naval staff.

Admiral Sandila said the marines and other naval personnel were given special training for handling such sophisticated machines. “They are trained to use these responsibly while the weapons, too, proved their worth in the recently conducted exercise Sea Spark-12,” he said.

Earlier, Commander Coast Rear Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi said that Pak Marines, since their inception in 1990, had earned a reputation of reliability.

Acknowledging their importance in the country’s safety, the PN had decided to hand over the security of Pakistan’s naval installations, ports and harbours to them in 2009, he said.

“The 2nd Pak Marines Battalion’s commissioning today is another step in that direction as the experienced marine units also have the responsibility of protecting our skies. The induction of the radar-controlled guns and low-level air defence radars will prove useful in their air defence,” he added.

Updated Oct 15, 2012 08:04pm

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