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February 17, 2021

AMAN-21 to pave way for making region peaceful, secure, says Alvi


February 17, 2021

KARACHI: The President of Pakistan, Arif Alvi, expressed the hope that AMAN-21 will pave the way to make the region more peaceful and secure with combined efforts by all stakeholders.

He congratulated the Pakistan Navy for successfully hosting AMAN-21 and reaffirming Pakistan’s resolve for promoting peace and security in the region. The chief guest thanked the participating regional and extra-regional navies for displaying their commitment to collaborative maritime security despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi, assured that Pakistan Navy will continue to play an active role in enhancing the regional maritime security individually and in collaboration with partner navies.

Earlier, President Arif Alvi conducted the International Fleet Review, packing up the week-long multinational naval exercises AMAN-21 hosted by the Pakistan Navy.

The concluding phase of the AMAN-21 was held on Tuesday, where President Alvi arrived through a PN helicopter on board PNS Moawin in the Northern Arabian Sea to witness the naval prowess.

Forty-five countries participated in AMAN-21 with 11 ships, multiple aircraft and helicopters and over 130 international delegates and observers, six teams of Special Forces, besides those of the explosive ordnance disposal.

The event also witnessed rare close collaboration of US and NATO navies with China and Russia during AMAN-21, a fruition of Pakistan’s PN diplomacy. This was the first time that Russia had participated in the multinational exercises, alongside the US and NATO. China participated with three ships and Russia also brought three ships from its Black Sea Fleet, besides one destroyer each from the US, UK, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

Tuesday’s events comprised demonstrations of different operations like replenishment at sea, mock ups of counter piracy actions by PN SSGs, anti-submarine warfare and gunnery fire.

Towards the opening of the event, USS Destroyer John Paul Jones, HMS Destroyer Montros, followed by three Russian platforms (two destroyers and one utility tanker) and three Chinese (two destroyers and one utility tanker), besides three other destroyers, including those from Indonesia and Sri Lanka joined the local fleet. These were followed by a dozen other different units from the Pakistan Navy. In order to avoid radar detection, all the ships were in ‘Line Formation’.

As they neared the staging area of the exercise, the Pakistan Navy frigate, PNS Saif, and PNS Aslat, both required refueling from the utility tanker PNS Moawin sailing a little further ahead. Following verbal and non-verbal communications with changing flags, the three ships prepared for the replenishment. Both PNS Saif and PNS Aslat joined the PNS Moawin on its starboard (right) and port (left) side, which supplied fuel to the frigates simultaneously as the three proceeded to sail over the mildly swelling sea. This is one of the most critical but delicate operations that may turn hazardous to life and cause damage to the surface platforms. Extreme diligence is required to safely transfer fuel as the ships are made to sail at a ‘synchronized’ speed in the ‘not always’ placid sea.

A mockup of pirates attack and demonstration of the counter piracy action by a team of PN SSGs took place afterwards. The pirates installed their flag on PNS Saif, ‘acting’ as a defenceless commercial ship, roamed the ship with steady guns to harass the ship staff. Within a few minutes, the PN SSGs began to board the ship from two of the speeding Special Operation Forces boats Thunder and started to clear the different decks of the ship one by one and ‘taking out’ the pirates. Soon another team of SSG(N) was rappelled to the ship by a helicopter. With a lightning speed, the Pakistan Navy commandos took positions and pounced on the unsuspecting “pirates”, injuring and detaining all of them, quickly ending the agony of the commercial ship’s hostage crew.

The PN joined the CTF-150 in 2004 and the CTF-151 in 2009 and remained a fundamental contributor in the global efforts against piracy. The PN has commanded multinational CTF-150 10 times and the CTF-151 8 times to guard the Sea Lines of Communication that emerge from the Middle East and crisscross their way towards destinations. The AMAN-21 which consisted of the harbour and the Sea Phase coordinated and honed different tactics and doctrines of anti-piracy strategies by the navies of the 45 countries that participated in the week-long exercise. Since 2007 the AMAN platform and the participating countries revolves around developing coalition building and multi-layered security cooperation to promote a safe and sustainable maritime environment.

Another important policy line is to enhance tactical interoperability between regional and extra regional navies thereby acting as a bridge between the regions. The exercise seeks to validate Real-Time Threat Protection System to counter non-traditional threats in the maritime domain. Another important policy pillar of the exercise is to display the united resolve against terrorism and crimes in maritime domain.

As part of the anti-submarine warfare exercise, the two frigates PNS Saif and PNS Aslat were tracking a ‘hostile’ submarine with the under-sea sensors.

They successfully engaged and destroyed a simulated submarine target 3,000 meters away by firing RDC-32 anti-submarine rockets. Gunnery demonstrations were also carried out by PNS frigates Saif and Aslat, Russian RFN Grigorovich, USS John Paul Jones, Indonesian KRI Bung Tomo destroyers.

The PN frigates Saif and Aslat are equipped with 76.2mm guns to engage other ships, aircraft and defend against anti-ship missiles. It contains a stealthy turret to reduce the radar cross-section. They fired a barrage of gunfire at the target buoys 4,500 meters away, degrading them in an exercise called Killer Tomato.

The Killer Tomato was followed by a flypast of four PAF JF-17 Thunders, three PN’s Orions, thee PN ATRs, three PN Alouette helicopters, three PN Sea King helicopters, three PN Z9EC helicopters, besides Turkish P3 C Orion and a Chinese helicopter also flew in front of the PNS Moawin where the Chief Guest President Arif Alvi reviewed the flypast.

President Alvi was joined on the PNS Moawin by COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, besides the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi and Defence Minister Pervez Khattak.

This led to the International Fleet Review, which was the power punch of the multinational exercise comprising the 11 different surface platforms of the participating foreign navies, besides several of those from Pakistan Navy. They passed one by one in front of PNS Moawin hosting President Arif Alvi, who reviewed the fleet.

All the sailors deployed on the passing ships raised Man and Cheer Ship slogans of Nara-e-Takbeer and Pakistan Zindabad to honour President Arif Alvi, COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa and CAS Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan and CNS Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi, who responded back to the Man and Cheer Ship by raising arms and responding with Allah-o-Akbar and Pakistan Zindabad.

The foreign ships responded by saluting to the president, the three services chiefs by their respective national Man and Cheer Ship procedures.At the end, all the ships aligned to form the ‘A’ formation of the AMAN exercise to sail to the conclusion of the drill.