Commander Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Ovais Ahmed Bilgrami on Wednesday briefed the media about the details of multinational Maritime Exercise AMAN-23 at PNS Jauhar. Pakistan Navy has been conducting AMAN series of multinational maritime exercise every two years since its beginning in 2007. The eighth edition of the exercise is scheduled to be held this year from February 10th to 14th, involving participation of over 50 countries with ships, aircrafts, Special Ops Forces/ EOD Marines teams and observers. The exercise is divided into two phases: harbour and sea. Harbour phase involves activities such as seminars, operational discussions, professional demonstrations, international get togethers and pre-sail planning of evolutions at sea. The sea phase would include tactical manoeuvres, and exercises related to maritime security such as anti-piracy and counter-terrorism, search and rescue, gunnery firings, and air defence exercises. The highlight of the sea phase will be the International Fleet Review, which will be witnessed by national and foreign dignitaries Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Ovais Ahmed Bilgrami said as a maritime nation, Pakistan has substantial stakes in keeping our seas safe and secure. Our interests are based on three major factors. “Firstly, our extraordinary dependence on the seas for trade; secondly, operationalisation of CPEC project and thirdly, our strategic location astride the global energy highway,” he said. Cumulatively, these realities make maritime stability a vital national security interest. We realise the importance of maritime security not only for Pakistan but for all other countries whose prosperity and progress are tied to the seas. “While we talk of security and stability at sea, let us be mindful of the threats and challenges that we face in the maritime domain, ranging from piracy, terrorism, narco-arms trafficking to climate change. However, vastness of the seas makes it extremely difficult for any one nation to deal with these diverse challenges alone. This calls for collective effort to make sure the seas remain safe and secure for all of us to use and benefit from,” he said. He said Pakistan Navy is therefore a firm believer in the concept of Collaborative Maritime Security and has been actively participating in Maritime Security and Counter-Piracy Operations along with other partner navies since 2004. “Furthermore, since 2018, Pakistan Navy is undertaking Regional Maritime Security Patrols through which our ships maintain presence in vital sea areas in the Indian Ocean Region, to contribute towards maintaining good order at sea in accordance with our international commitments,” he said. Exercise AMAN is thus the manifestation of this acknowledged reality of combating the maritime threats collectively through cooperation and mutual support and provides enormous opportunities to the participants for shaping and rehearsing the contours of such a collective response. Commander Pakistan Fleet emphasised that the principle purpose of this exercise is to provide a forum for understanding each other’s maritime concepts and operational cultures, enhancing interoperability as well as identifying ways and means to combat common threats at sea. The occasion also helps foster friendships, bridging gaps and making it possible for countries from far and wide to operate together in pursuance of shared objectives.