Pakistan has always been an avid supporter of regional peace and stability. Pakistan’s commitment to the principle of ‘peaceful coexistence and desire for greater regional harmony and cooperation is also reflected through Pakistan’s armed forces’ participation in UN Peacekeeping missions, UN-mandated Combined Maritime Task Forces 150 & 151, participation in regional and extra-regional joint bilateral and multilateral exercises. To demonstrate Pakistan’s commitment to peace, contribute towards regional maritime security and enhance cooperation and interoperability between regional and extra-regional navies, Pakistan Navy took the initiative of holding the Multinational exercise AMAN in 2007, which is being conducted biennially.
To date, seven exercises have been conducted and the 8th exercise is planned for Feb 23 for which over 110 countries have been invited. Since then this Exercise has become a major International Naval event which is evident from the growing number of participants. This is also reflective of Pakistan’s growing positive image and the success of Ex AMAN. The highlight of AMAN-23 is its concurrent conduct with the maiden Pakistan International Maritime Expo & Conference (PIMEC). The aim of PIMEC is to showcase our country’s maritime potential.
The main objective/ theme of the AMAN series of multinational exercises is to promote regional cooperation and stability, greater interoperability and to display a united resolve against terrorism and crimes in the maritime domain including piracy. The overview of exercises of the AMAN series is as under:
a. 1st AMAN Exercise
The First Exercise of the AMAN series was held in March 2007. During AMAN-07, 14 x ships were from Bangladesh, China, France, and Italy. Malaysia, UK and USA navies participated. SOF/ EOD teams from Bangladesh and Turkey also participated in SOF exercises. Overall 28 countries participated in the exercise with the said assets and 29 observers.
b. 2nd AMAN Exercise
The second Exercise, AMAN-09 was held in March 2009 During the exercise, 14 warships, 02 aircraft and 9 SOF teams from Australia, Bangladesh, China, France, Japan, Malaysia, the UK, Nigeria, Turkey and the USA participated. Overall 24 countries participated in the exercise with the said assets and 29 observers.
c. 3rd AMAN Exercise
The third Exercise AMAN-11 was conducted in March 2011. During the exercise, a total of 28 countries participated with naval assets and observers. A total of 11 ships from Australia, China, France, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the USA participated. Three aircraft from Australia and Japan and 03 SOF/ EOD/ Marines teams from China, Turkey and USA also participated during the exercise AMAN-11. Overall 28 countries participated in the exercise with the said assets and 43 observers.
d. 4th AMAN Exercise
The fourth Exercise AMAN-13 was held in March 2013. Navies of 29 countries participated in the said exercise with 12 ships, 02 aircraft, 06 x SOF/ EOD teams and 36 observers.
e. 5th AMAN Exercise
Fifth Exercise AMAN-17 conducted in the North Arabian Sea from 10-14 Feb 2017. 12 ships from Australia, China, Indonesia, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UK and USA participated. In addition, SOF/ EOD/ Marines teams from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and UK also participated in the exercise. A total of 34 countries including Pakistan participated in the exercise with the said assets and 67 observers
f. 6th AMAN Exercise
6th Exercise AMAN-19 was conducted in North Arabian, Sea from 08-12 February 2019. 11 x Ships from Australia, China, Italy, and Malaysia. Oman, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UK and USA participated. Whereas, Japan participated with 01 x Ship and 2 x P3Cs as Pre-AMAN. Moreover, 15 x SOF/EOD/ Marines teams from China, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Nigeria, Poland, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UK and USA also participated in the exercise. A total of 46 countries participated in the exercise with the said assets and 113 observers.
g. 7th AMAN Exercise
7th Exercise AMAN-21 conducted in the North Arabian Sea from 11-16 February 2021. 11 x Ships from 7 nations.01 Turkish MPA, 04 x SOF teams/ Observers.03 x EOD teams/Observer, 11 Senior officers and 117 x Observers along with PN Ships, aircraft, SSG (N) teams and PAK Marines assets.
3. The Exercise is to be designed to provide a common forum for:
a. Information sharing, mutual understanding and identifying areas of common interests for group analysis and dialogues through the International Maritime Conference.
b. Developing and practising response tactics, techniques and procedures against asymmetric and traditional threats during the sea phase of the exercise.
c. Intermingling of multinationals with the depiction of their respective cultures during cultural shows/food galas.
4. The Exercise is to be planned with focused objectives, which are as under:
a. Project a positive image of Pakistan as a country contributing towards regional peace and stability.
b. Consolidate PN’s position in the regional maritime arena.
c. Enhance interoperability with regional and extra-regional navies thereby acting as a bridge between the regions.
MAJOR EVENTS OF THE HARBOUR AND SEA PHASE
Exercise will be divided into Harbour and Sea Phases. Details of the phases are as under:
a. Arrival of Participating Units.
b. Opening Ceremony at PN Dockyard.
c. Wreath Laying.
d. Friendly Sports Matches
e. Maritime Counter Terrorism Demo by SSG (NY Pak Marines.
f. Table Top Discussions (TTDs) on professional topics.
g. Calls and visits including ship visits.
h. International Band Display.
j. International Cultural Display and Food Gala
k. Pakistan International Maritime Expo and Conference at Expo Centre Karachi.
6. SEA ACTIVITIES
a. International Fleet Review (IFR)
An International Fleet Review (IFR) is scheduled at sea on 14 February 2023. During IFR, various operational activities/ serial listed below will be conducted:
(1) RAS (L) Token
(2) Counter Piracy Demo by PN MSW Team
(3) Rocket Depth Charge (RDC) firing
(4) Surface Firing on Killer Tomato
(5) Fly Past by Air Units (PN, PAF and Foreign participating Aircraft)
(6) Man and Cheer Ship in honour of the Chief Guest
b. In addition to IFR, Other sea activities include various exercises to practice response against maritime security threats in a multinational environment.
7. SOF/EOD/Marines Teams
Special Operation Forces (SOF), Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Marines teams will also participate in the exercise. The SOF/EOD/Marine personnel have the frontline role against the threat of maritime terrorism and other crimes. Therefore, a number of exercises to develop Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) for combined action by multinational forces against asymmetric threats are also planned.