KARACHI: The biennial multinational maritime exercise Aman-2021, with 45 countries, including China, Russian, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, the United States and Sri Lanka participating along with their fleets, culminated in the Arabian Sea on Tuesday with an impressive international fleet review witnessed by President Dr Arif Alvi from aboard Pakistan Navy’s largest ship built at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works in collaboration with M/s Savunma Teknologiler Muhendisilik of Turkey, the 17,000-tonne fleet tanker the majestic PNS Moawin.

The ships taking part in the international fleet review included warships CNS Guiyang, CNS Zaozhuang, CNS Dongpinghu of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, Admiral Grigorovich, Dmitriy Rogachove and a rescue tug of Russian Navy, HMS Montrose of the Royal Navy, USS John Paul Jones of United States Navy, KRI Bung Tomo of Indonesian Navy and SLNS Gajabahu of Sri Lanka Navy along with several ships of hosts Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, including PNS Aslat, PNS Saif, PNS Yarmook, PNS Hangor, PNS Khyber, PNS Alamgir, PMSS Dasht and PMSS Hingol and the beautiful sail training ship PNS Rah Naward.

China, Russia, UK, Indonesia, US and Sri Lanka were among 45 countries which participated in maritime exercise

There was also a flypast in which both the Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Air Force took part along with their airplanes and helicopters, including the PC-3 Orion, ATR, Harbin Z-9, Alouettes, Sea King and J-7 fighters.

The drills presented on the occasion included a demonstration in refueling of ships at sea, an anti-piracy drill, depth charge, and surface firing at some five big killer tomatoes floating at a distance as the targets for not just the Pakistan Navy ships, but also USS John Paul Jones and KRI Bung Tomo of Indonesia. The killer tomatoes had no chance and vanished from sight soon after the guns in all these warships locked on them and fired. Neither did the pirates have a chance against PN Marines as their black skull and bone Jolly Roger flag came down in less time than it had taken the pirates to hoist it on the hostage ship.

Being a replenishment vessel, PNS Moawin took part in the refueling drill with PNS Aslat and PNS Saif matching speed on either side as the fuel lines with nozzles were pulled onboard by the smaller two receiver ships.

The exercise culminated with the participating ships forming up in the traditional Aman formation to signify unity and collective resolve.

Earlier, upon arrival on board PNS Moawin, President Alvi was received by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Amjad Khan Niazi.

The federal minister for maritime affairs, minister for defence production, Sindh chief minister, the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, chief of the army staff and the chief of the air staff were also present on the occasion.

In addition, ambassadors, high commissioners, senior military officers, defence and naval attaches from various countries also witnessed the event.

President Alvi congratulated Pakistan Navy for successfully organising Aman-2021 and reaffirming Pakistan’s resolve for promoting peace and security in the region. The chief guest also thanked the participating regional and extra-regional navies for displaying their commitment to collaborative maritime security despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Aman ‘21 will pave the way to make the region more peaceful and secure with combined efforts by all stakeholders,” the president stated on the occasion.

The chief of the naval staff thanked President Alvi for gracing the international fleet review with his presence. “Pakistan Navy will continue to play an active role in enhancing regional maritime security individually and in collaboration with partner navies,” the naval chief assured.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2021

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