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KARACHI: Two Japanese Naval P3C aircraft of Deployed Maritime Force for Anti-Piracy Enforcement (DAPE) visited PNS Mehran recently for a pre-Aman-19 exercise.

The Japanese aircrew participated in various events, including Search & Rescue (SAR) and Counter Piracy (CP) Exercises, along with Pakistan Navy aircrew.

The Japanese contingent also visited the Maritime and Pakistan Air Force museums to learn about the Pakistan Navy and Air Force’s historic achievements.

Later, a farewell dinner for the contingent was hosted by the naval aviation commander. It was attended by the Japanese aircrew along with senior representatives and dignitaries of Japan.

The visit by Japanese aircraft and crew is reflective of a strong mutual desire to improve the level of coordination and interoperability at the operational and tactical level. The visit focused not only to enhance good relations but also combating and countering illicit activities, particularly in the North Arabian Sea. Subsequently, aircraft participation in maritime exercises afforded ample opportunities for the participating aircrew to enhance interoperability for search and rescue operations in a befitting and professional manner.

The arrival of Japanese aircraft is indeed a hallmark of maritime partnership between Pakistan Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). It is believed that the JMSDF aircraft visit to Pakistan will further foster navy-to-navy relations and will go a long way in improving friendly relations and give impetus to diplomatic and military ties between Pakistan and Japan.

Pakistan Navy is hosting the sixth series of the multinational maritime exercise Aman-19 in Karachi in February.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2019