Pakistan Navy – AMAN Exercise

Pakistan Navy – AMAN Exercise

Pakistan – AMAN Exercise

AMAN Exercise:

AMAN Exercise

Terrorism has long been the main problem in maritime domains. A large number of naval personnel and equipment has been lost in counter-terrorism activities. It is a need of the hour for all the major players in international waters to formulate a joint strategy against the threat of terrorism and share their experiences in this regard. The first AMAN exercise can thus be considered a part of a more significant international initiative when it was held in March 2007, with a group of 28 countries participated with their navies or as observers. Pakistan has hosted the exercise with an interval of two years. The AMAN-2021 activity has vastly developed into a well-reputed and popular naval drill.

With 28 countries participating in the first edition of the exercises, the number of countries participating has almost doubled. The AMAN-21 was also in line with the United Nations’ strategy of cooperation against terrorism. The United Nations’ chief of Counter-Terrorism Office, Vladimir Voronkov, has stressed the need for joint cooperation against the threat of terrorism, adding that terrorism has effects far across the borders. That is the reason the prominent and most active naval forces participated in the historic naval drills at Karachi port

AMAN Exercise ’21:

AMAN-2021 was the seventh edition of multinational naval drills hosted by Pakistan. The exercise started on 12 February with a prestigious opening ceremony at Karachi Port, Pakistan. The AMAN-2021 exercise was held in the Arabian Sea. It continued for five days. The objectives of the exercise were to present a joint resolve against terrorism and enhance the operational cooperation between the naval forces of the region as well as the world. Forty-five countries participated in the drills in the form of naval delegations and vessels. Pakistan, Russia, and six other navies participated with their ships in this counter-terrorism exercise. Russian Navy participated in the drills with the vessels Adm. Grigorovich frigate, SB-739 rescue tag, marine corps unit, Dmitry Rogachev patrol ship, and a deck helicopter. The Chinese Navy was headed by the destroyer “Guiyang,” along with the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s frigate Zaozhuang, plus a supplement ship Dongpinghu were also included in the team.

The Iranian team was headed by their Southern Fleet Commander, Commodore Ariya Shafghat Rodsari. It was the first time both the Iranian and American militaries were at the same place since the tragic assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq. The tensions between the two countries have only risen after that incident. The two navies’ presence shows that terrorism is the first challenge that every military in the world wishes to eliminate. Another thing to notice was the close contacts and cooperation between Pakistan and Russian teams. The Pakistani Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi, visited the Russian camp and met with the deputy chief of Naval Staff HQ, Rear Admiral Oleg V Apishev. Both sides discussed ways to enhance mutual cooperation in the maritime domain further.

Significance:

It is undoubtedly a significant achievement to get this number of rival navies on the same platform for the exact cause. The involvement of Russia, American, Chinese, Saudi Arabian, Iranian and Turkish navies demonstrates that Pakistan has presented itself as an advocate of international maritime security and peace. Not many countries of the world are capable of getting these navies on board for a single cause. Some participants were at the forefront with their vessels and equipment. In contrast, the others wished to cash this opportunity and involve themselves with the world’s largest navies and share their experiences. For the first time, the North Atlantic Treaty Organizations’ members and Russia participated together in naval drills at the Arabian Sea.

Pakistan’s long-lasting fight and sacrifices against terrorism need no mention. Exercise like this is a good opportunity for other naval forces to learn through Pakistan’s expertise in counter-terrorism. This is also a good platform for relatively small navies to benefit from the experiences of other naval forces and architect their counter-terrorism strategy. AMAN exercise has reasonably promoted the soft image of Pakistan among the international community. These multinational exercises show the desire of the Pakistani military to work together with the international community for the shared objective of long-lasting peace. The drills are vastly promoting Pakistan as a peace-loving and peace-making country.

To hold an event of such caliber is itself an achievement, but to have it in the middle of a pandemic, is a remarkable success. The major industries of the world were halting their operations. Travel bans were in place, and lockdowns were imposed in most parts of the world to curb the spread of the virus. The event came at a time when the world was still struggling to halt the destruction of global pandemic Covid-19, yet the event concluded successfully with no reports of the virus finding its way in.

Conclusion:

The event’s conclusion saw the vessels of participating Navies and the host country showcasing the AMAN formation, which, according to the Pakistan Navy’s official statement, was to show unity and collective resolve. The official report further noted that AMAN-2021 reiterated the commitment to make international waters safe for peaceful activities. The hosting Navy thanked the participants for their services. The foreign delegations also lauded the efforts of the Pakistan Navy for conducting such benefitting drills and for getting the primary naval forces of the world on board against the shared threat of terrorism. The AMAN-21 exercise also served as a message for neighboring India that Pakistan is not isolated among the international community despite its efforts.

The President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi, hailed the joint multinational drills and said that the exercise broadcasts Pakistan’s resolve for promoting peace. The President lauded the participating navies for their display of collective efforts against maritime issues. He added that the AMAN-2021 exercise would pave the way for peace and security in the region. Meanwhile, the Naval Chief of Pakistan, Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi, reassured that his country’s naval forces would play their part in maintaining regional peace and maritime security.

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