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37-nation naval exercise draws to impressive finish

Updated February 15, 2017

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KARACHI: It was an impressive show of strength and unity in the North Arabian Sea as each ship, which participated in the multinational Aman-2017, moved past in column formation in front of the Pakistan Navy ship Nasr.

On board several dignitaries, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, waved to them during the conclusion of the exercise on Tuesday.

The prime minister commented that the presence of such a large number of foreign navies reflected the confidence of the world navies on Pakistan.

Expressing his satisfaction, he lauded the strenuous efforts of the Pakistan Navy for successfully conducting Exercise Aman-2017, which he said was a manifestation of Pakistan’s policy of constructive engagement with the comity of nations for peace and stability in the maritime commons.

He added that with this state of operational readiness, the Pakistan Navy was fully prepared and committed to ensure seaward defence and safeguard its maritime interests.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Secretary Defence retired Lieutenant General Zamirul Hassan Shah, Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of the Air Staff Sohail Aman, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah along with the Sri Lankan Naval Chief, National Security Advisor to PM, ambassadors, consuls general, diplomats and other high-ranking civil and military officials were also present on the occasion.

The conclusion of the exercise also involved spectacular sea manoeuvres and fleet review amid a joint resolve, ‘Together for peace’, of the 37 participating countries.

Following his arrival on board PNS Nasr, the PM was briefed on the overall conduct and operational perspective of the exercise. He was given a detailed account of the sea-based activities to be conducted at sea during the closing ceremony by the participating naval ships, aircraft, helicopters and PAF fighter jets.

These comprised replenishment of men and material from one ship to another, Rockets Depth Charge (RDC) firing and surface-to-surface firing on pre-determined targets. The prime minister also witnessed an impressive fly past by various aircraft and helicopters of the PN, PAF and participating countries, including the Japanese P-3C Orion aircraft.

Aman-2017 was conducted in two phases — the harbour phase spanned from Feb 11 to 12 and the sea phase was from Feb 13 to 14. The harbour phase comprised the international maritime conference, seminars, talks, cross ships visits, call ons, an international band display and a maritime counter terrorism demonstration whereas the sea phase included the practical execution of operational plans and activities finalised during the harbour phase.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2017