KARACHI  - The multi-nation exercise Aman-13 will be conducted from March 4 to 8, said Commander Pakistan Fleet, Rear Admiral Khan Hasham Bin Siddique at a media briefing here on Sunday.

He pointed out that the Aman series of multinational exercises were started in 2007 with a view to promote regional cooperation and stability, greater interoperability and to display a united resolve against terrorism and crimes in maritime domain including Piracy.

The Aman-13 is the fourth such exercise planned from March 4 to 8 at Karachi.

Admiral Hasham pointed out that the concept of exercise is designed to: Provide common forum for information sharing, mutual understanding and identifying areas of common interest.

He said that the exercise is planned with focused objectives which are: Display of united resolve against terrorism and crimes in maritime domain.

Contributing towards regional peace and stability.  Enhancing interoperability between regional and extra regional navies thereby acting as a bridge between the regions.

The countries participating with the Naval assets are: Australia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia (Special Operation Force only) Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UAE, UK and USA.

The countries participating with observers are: Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Sudan, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Savy, along with other maritime forces of the country is proactively engaged in maintaining and further improving maritime security and stability in the region as well as checking illegal activities on our coast.

Being fully conscious of the emerging maritime situation of the area especially since the start of this century, Navy has all along remained engaged with coalition maritime forces.  PN is the first Navy of the region to join Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP), named as Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), in 2004 formed to check illegal activities in Indian Ocean and provide safe and secure environment to sea lanes of communication.

So far PN has contributed 45 ships since 2004 and have undertaken multitude of Maritime Security operations. These efforts despite resource constraints have been duly acknowledged and PN has been entrusted with the command of the Task Force 150 for five times since 2004.

Besides this, navy is also part of Combined Task Force-151 formed in Jan 2009 exclusively to combat the threat of piracy in Gulf of Aden.

So far, 14 PN ships have participated in this coalition and PN have also commanded this task force twice in last two years and are in command for the third time since December 12.

Besides joining the international coalition, PN has also taken other initiatives for collaborative maritime security. In this direction, PN initiated Aman series of exercise in 2007 which has become a biennial event. This PN considers not only an acknowledgment of PN’s efforts but also manifests the slogan of exercise which calls for being ‘Together for Peace’.

The slogan for this Exercise is ‘together for peace’ which means that all the nations participating in the Aman have a common objective of ensuring peace and stability in the maritime arena to provide freedom of navigation and uninterrupted flow of trade. 

Admiral Hasham further stated that the Aman exercises holds a lot of importance as they define and help improve the level of operational readiness, task-accomplishment, refine command, control and communication procedures and tactics. 

Additionally, the exercises at sea will enhance tactical proficiency, develop common tactics against asymmetric threats and promote its related interoperability amongst the participating units.

The international perspective of Aman helps the PN meet international standards and integrate into the global system of maritime security. 

The exercise Aman has grown in stature and Aman-13 has set a new benchmark with 33 navies participation including 18 ships. In addition, around 40 plus observers from 24 countries are also participating in Aman-13.

Pakistan being a responsible maritime nation with prominent strategic location is cognizant of its responsibility to ensure maritime security in the region which is of great importance to the entire globe.

However, the nature of asymmetric threat in maritime arena is such that no nation alone can ensure maritime security in the global common.  The only viable option to counter the threats to the maritime trade and freedom of navigation at sea is, mutual collaboration.  Aman-13 is one such effort and Pakistan hopes it will bring the navies together for peace, it was further stated.