A Strong Re­gional Role

A po­tent fight­ing force run by mo­ti­vated pro­fes­sion­als, the Pak­istan Navy is a trusted guardian of the coun­try’s sea fron­tiers. It holds reg­u­lar joint ex­er­cises with other lead­ing naval arms. Here is an ac­count of the PN’s Aman Naval Ex­er­cises.

Southasia - - CON­TENTS - By Muham­mad Ghaz­an­far

The Pak­istan Navy has been in­ter­act­ing with re­gional and other navies through joint bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral ex­er­cises called AMAN. This is a multi­na­tional ex­er­cise or­ga­nized by the Pak­istan Navy ev­ery two years since 2007 with friendly re­gional and other friendly navies en­hanc­ing in­ter­op­er­abil­ity and mu­tual un­der­stand­ing. AMAN-17, the fifth ex­er­cise is sched­uled from Fe­bru­ary 10 to 14 this year. Navies from 71 coun­tries have been ex­tended an in­vi­ta­tion to par­tic­i­pate in the ex­er­cise. They will be par­tic­i­pat­ing with ships, air­craft, SOF/ EOD/ma­rine teams and ob­servers in the ex­er­cise.

The ob­jec­tives would be to pro­ject a pos­i­tive im­age of Pak­istan as a coun­try con­tribut­ing to re­gional peace and sta­bil­ity, con­sol­i­date PN’s po­si­tion in the re­gional mar­itime arena, en­hance in­ter­op­er­abil­ity with re­gional and ex­tra re­gional navies to act as a bridge be­tween the re­gions and dis­play a united re­solve against ter­ror­ism and crimes in the mar­itime do­main.

The ex­er­cise has been de­signed to pro­vide a com­mon fo­rum for in­for­ma­tion shar­ing, mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and iden­ti­fy­ing ar­eas of com­mon in­ter­est for group anal­y­sis and di­a­logue through the In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Con­fer­ence.

The ex­er­cise will also serve to de­velop and prac­tice re­sponse tac­tics, tech­niques and pro­ce­dures against asym­met­ric and tra­di­tional threats dur­ing its sea phase. This will be an op­por­tu­nity for na­tion­als of var­i­ous coun­tries to in­ter­min­gle and present their re­spec­tive cul­tures dur­ing the cul­tural shows and food galas.

Over­all, the ex­er­cise will be di­vided into Har­bour and Sea Phases. The Har­bour Ac­tiv­i­ties will fea­ture ar­rival of par­tic­i­pat­ing units, the open­ing cer­e­mony, lay­ing of a wreath at the Mazar of the Quaid-e-Azam, friendly sport matches, a mar­itime counter ter­ror­ism demo by SSG(N)/ Pak Marines, ships vis­its and an In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Con­fer­ence (IMC) un­der the aegis of the Na­tional Cen­tre for Mar­itime Pol­icy Re­search (NCMPR) at the Bahria Univer­sity, Karachi.

The Sea Ac­tiv­i­ties would fea­ture an In­ter­na­tional Fleet Re­view (IFR) which is sched­uled at sea on Fe­bru­ary 14, 2017. Dur­ing the IFR, var­i­ous op­er­a­tional ac­tiv­i­ties/ se­ri­als will be con­ducted such as Fly Past by Air Units, RAS (L) To­ken, an Anti Piracy Demon­stra­tion by the PN MSW Team, Sur­face Fir­ing on KILLER TO­MATO (Float­ing Baloon Tar­get), Man and Cheer Ship and For­ma­tion AMAN/ PHOTEX.

In ad­di­tion to the IFR, other sea ac­tiv­i­ties would in­clude MISCEX-830 (Sim­ple Ma­noeu­vres),RAS Ap­proaches, Sur­face Prac­tice Fir­ing with main ar­ma­ment on KILLER TO­MATO (Float­ing Bal­loon Tar­get), SVBSS Ops, SAR Ex­er­cise (Re­spond­ing to dis­tress call of stranded boats), RAS (L) To­ken, Cross Deck Land­ing, SAR Ex­er­cise (Re­cov­ery of Stranded Per­son­nel), CASEX C-2 (Ba­sic ASW Co­or­di­nated Ex­er­cise) TBC, ASMDEX 0403/0404, MISCEX-832 (Screen Ex­er­cise), MIOEX (Iden­ti­fy­ing and Clas­si­fy­ing COI) and SURFEX 993 (MOD) (Com­bined MIO Board­ing Ops).

The ma­jor events of the SOF/EOD/ MARINES TEAMS would be an SOF/ EOD Sem­i­nar, a Mar­itime Counter Ter­ror­ism Demo by PN SSG(N), a sce­nario based Anti Ter­ror­ist Ex­er­cise, a dis­play of EOD equip­ment, ta­ble top dis­cus­sions, a mine dis­posal work­shop and sce­nario based ex­er­cise, board­ing re­hearsals, dis­play of weapons, SVBSS/HVBSS re­hearsals, ta­ble top Anti Ter­ror­ist Team (ATT) dis­cus­sions and sce­nario-based ex­er­cise, equip­ment fa­mil­iar­iza­tion and Com­bat Marks­man­ship Train­ing.

The naval as­sets of par­tic­i­pat­ing na­tions would in­clude ships, air­craft and he­los. SOF/EOD/Marines Teams of 35 coun­tries are part­ci­pat­ing with ob­servers.

The first such ex­er­cise, AMAN07 was held in March 2007. A to­tal of 28 coun­tries par­tic­i­pated in it with their naval as­sets and ob­servers. The coun­tries in­cluded China, UK, Italy, France, Malaysia and Bangladesh. A to­tal of 14 ships from th­ese coun­tries ac­tively par­tic­i­pated in the mega event. In ad­di­tion, SOF/EOD teams from Turkey,

USA and Bangladesh also par­tic­i­pated in Spe­cial Op­er­a­tion Forces Ex­er­cises. Fur­ther­more, 21 coun­tries par­tic­i­pated in the ex­er­cise as ob­servers. The in­cep­tion of AMAN se­ries of ex­er­cises in 2007 was a sig­nif­i­cant ef­fort to im­prove mar­itime se­cu­rity in the western re­gion of the In­dian Ocean.

Be­sides the op­er­a­tional ex­er­cises, an In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Con­fer­ence in 2007 was also an in­te­gral part of the AMAN ex­er­cise, which was or­ga­nized from March 4-6, 2007, by the Na­tional Cen­tre of Mar­itime Pol­icy Re­search, Bahria Univer­sity, Karachi. Hun­dreds of in­tel­lec­tu­als, del­e­gates, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of var­i­ous diplo­matic mis­sions, pol­i­cy­mak­ers and mar­itime stake­hold­ers from around the globe gath­ered for the com­mon pur­pose of ad­dress­ing the is­sues con­fronting the mar­itime hori­zons of the In­dian Ocean re­gion and to de­vise a com­mon strat­egy for a mu­tual ben­e­fi­cial use of the Ocean. The topic of the first IMC was “Mar­itime Threats and Op­por­tu­ni­ties in the 21st Cen­tury – A global per­spec­tive on the In­dian Ocean.

The pa­pers read by em­i­nent schol­ars at the con­fer­ence in­cluded “Se­cu­rity of the In­dian Ocean – A global naval per­spec­tive” by Dr. James Boutilier, “In­te­gra­tion of the In­dian Ocean” by Vice Ad­mi­ral (R) Jac­ques Ma­zor, “Im­por­tance of Secure Mar­itime En­vi­ron­ment in In­dian Ocean and Ara­bian Gulf – The Coali­tion Con­tri­bu­tion” by Rear Ad­mi­ral Neil Moris­setti, “Mar­itime Se­cu­rity within the In­ter­na­tional Strate­gic Mi­lieu” by Dr. Shireen Mazari, “Mar­itime Laws and Regimes” by Mr. Bi­lal Sufi, “Man­ag­ing the Vil­lage Pond” by Ms Ro­many Rasquinho, “War and other dis­as­ters: A His­toric Ap­proach to Se­cu­rity Strat­egy” by Mr. David N Grif­fiths and “Econ­omy, En­vi­ron­ment and Se­cu­rity” by Dr. Has­san Waqas Rana.

The se­cond ex­er­cise AMAN-09 was held in March 2009. A to­tal of 24 coun­tries par­tic­i­pated in the ex­er­cise with naval as­sets and ob­servers. Coun­tries in­clud­ing USA, UK, France, Malaysia, Aus­tralia and Bangladesh took part in the ex­er­cise with their naval as­sets. Th­ese as­sets in­cluded 14 ships from the par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries. In ad­di­tion, 2 air­craft (P-3C) from Ja­pan par­tic­i­pated in the ex­er­cise. SOF/ EOD teams from China, USA, Turkey, Nige­ria and Bangladesh also par­tic­i­pated in Spe­cial Op­er­a­tion Forces ex­er­cise. 22 coun­tries sent their naval ex­perts who wit­nessed the ex­er­cise as ob­servers.

The In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Con­fer­ence was also held from March 5-7, 2009 in Karachi. The theme of the con­fer­ence that year was “Tra­di­tional and Non Tra­di­tional Threats, Force Pos­tures and Ex­tra Re­gional In­ter­ests: Im­pli­ca­tion for Ara­bian Sea and Gulf Lit­torals”. The con­fer­ence was at­tended by a large num­ber of in­tel­lec­tu­als and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the mar­itime sec­tor. Pa­pers pre­sented at the con­fer­ence in­cluded “Arc of In­sta­bil­ity” by Dr. James Boutilier, “China and Har­mo­nious In­dian Ocean” by Dr. Wang De Hua,“Emerg­ing Non-Pro­lif­er­a­tion Trends” by Ms. Maria Sul­tan, “China’s Per­spec­tive of Mar­itime Se­cu­rity in the Gulf and the Malacca Straits” by Dr. Ye Hailin,“Key Is­sues in Mar­itime Se­cu­rity” by Rear Ad­mi­ral Philips Jones, “Le­gal is­sues in Anti Piracy Op­er­a­tions in the Gulf of Aden” by Dr. Han­ling Wang and “Ex­tra-re­gional Pres­ence and Mar­itime Force Pos­tures: Im­pli­ca­tion for Ara­bian Sea and the Gulf lit­torals” by Stan­ley B.Weeks.

The re­sound­ing suc­cess of the first two AMAN ex­er­cises en­cour­aged the Pak­istan Navy to ex­pand the can­vas of the ex­er­cise with an in­creased num­ber of par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries in AMAN11. The third ex­er­cise of the AMAN se­ries was con­ducted from March 8-12, 2011. The ex­er­cise was at­tended by 28 coun­tries which par­tic­i­pated with naval as­sets and ob­servers. Th­ese coun­tries in­cluded Aus­tralia, China, France, In­done­sia, Italy, Malaysia, Saudi Ara­bia and USA. Their naval as­sets in­cluded 11 ships from the par­tic­i­pat­ing navies and 3 air­craft from Aus­tralia and Ja­pan. In ad­di­tion, 3 SOF/ EOD/Marines teams from China, Turkey and USA also par­tic­i­pated in Ex­er­cise AMAN-11.

The In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Con­fer­ence was held from March 8-9, 2001 un­der the aus­pices of the Na­tional Cen­tre for Mar­itime Pol­icy Re­search, Bahria Univer­sity, Karachi. “Mar­itime Se­cu­rity Man­age­ment Con­tem­po­rary Chal­lenges and Need for Global Co­op­er­a­tion” was the theme of the con­fer­ence. Pa­pers pre­sented by schol­ars of in­ter­na­tional re­pute In­cluded “Se­cu­rity of Ports and Ship­ping” by Cap­tain Hashim Hus­nain, “Knowl­edge Trans­fer Part­ner­ships in the Mar­itime Sec­tor” by Mr. Bari Ma­lik, “Polic­ing the Ara­bian Sea – Chal­lenges and Pit­falls” by Com­modore Azir Mum­taz, “Re­gional Im­pact of Mar­itime Se­cu­rity Regimes” by Prof Chris Bel­lamy and “Non-Tra­di­tional Se­cu­rity Chal­lenges and In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion in Con­struc­tion of Har­mo­nious In­dian Ocean” by Prof Wang De­hua.

AMAN-13 was the fourth ex­er­cise of the AMAN se­ries which was con­ducted from Mar 4-8, 2013. The ex­er­cise proved to be in­stru­men­tal in en­hanc­ing tac­ti­cal and op­er­a­tional readi­ness as well as friendly ties amongst the par­tic­i­pat­ing navies. With the par­tic­i­pa­tion of 36 coun­tries, which was the largest num­ber com­pared with pre­vi­ous ex­er­cises, the Pak­istan Navy en­deav­oured to es­tab­lish an un­der­stand­ing be­tween the cross-cut­ting cleav­ages en­com­pass­ing mar­itime se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions, an­titer­ror­ist op­er­a­tions and hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance op­er­a­tions. The naval as­sets com­prised 12 for­eign ships, Long Range Mar­itime Pa­trol Air­craft, ship-borne he­li­copters, two Ja­panese P3Cs, 9 SOF/ EOD teams and 5 se­nior of­fi­cers from par­tic­i­pat­ing navies. In ad­di­tion, more than 40 ob­servers from 24 coun­tries wit­nessed the ex­er­cise.

Like in pre­ced­ing ex­er­cises, an IMC was also or­ga­nized dur­ing AMAN 13 which was held from March 5-7, 2013. The topic se­lected for the con­fer­ence was “Re­gional Mar­itime Se­cu­rity Dy­nam­ics, Im­per­a­tives and In­ter-Depen­den­cies.” This con­fer­ence was at­tended by renowned schol­ars, pro­fes­sors and ex­perts from the mar­itime sec­tor who pre­sented their pa­pers on such top­ics as: “The Asia Pa­cific Strate­gic En­vi­ron­ment and Mar­itime Se­cu­rity Chal­lenges: Im­pli­ca­tions for North In­dian Ocean Mar­itime Se­cu­rity” by Dr. Stan­ley By­ron Weeks, “Strength­en­ing Co­op­er­a­tion – Main­tain­ing the Se­cu­rity of Sea Lanes on the India Ocean To­gether” by Rear Ad­mi­ral Yuan Yubai,“Mar­itime Se­cu­rity Dy­nam­ics in the North In­dian Ocean and Sino-Pak Co­op­er­a­tion” by Dr. Xia Lip­ing, “Emerg­ing Mar­itime Chal­lenges in the In­dian Ocean Re­gion an Role of the Pak­istan Navy” by Rear Ad­mi­ral Ab­dul Aleem,“In­dian Ocean Mar­itime Se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion: The Need to Ad­dress Shared Risks and Vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly from Non-Tra­di­tional Se­cu­rity Chal­lenges” by Com­modore (R) Lee Cord­ner RAN, “Ocean of Unity: Pro­mot­ing Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion in the In­dian Ocean Re­gion” by Mr. Naz­ery Khalid, “An In­te­grated Ap­proach to Dis­rupt­ing the Piracy Busi­ness Model in the Horn of Africa” by Dr. Lu­cia Fan­ning and “En­ter­prise and In­no­va­tion in the Mar­itime Sec­tor: The Tri-Part­ner­ship of Knowl­edge, Cap­i­tal and Pol­icy” by Khillat Bari Ma­lik.


ASMDEX: Anti Ship Mis­sile De­fence Ex­er­cise; CASEX: Com­bined Anti Sub­ma­rine Ex­er­cise; EOD: Ex­plo­sive Ord­nance Dis­posal; MIO: Mar­itime In­ter­dic­tion Op­er­a­tion; RAS (L): Re­plen­ish­ment At Sea (Liq­uid) SAR: Search And Res­cue and SOF: Spe­cial Op­er­a­tion Force.

The writer is a free­lance con­trib­u­tor.

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