Friday, October 30, 2009

Maritime exercise Seaspark 2009

By Amar Guriro

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir said Thursday Pakistan Navy has tightened, as well as reinforced, the maritime security in its naval territories, following the Mumbai attacks.

Talking to the media on PNS Nasr on the last day of the tactical (war at sea) phase, which is a part of ongoing six-week-long maritime exercise, Seaspark 2009, in North Arabian Sea, he suggested a joint maritime security agency comprising maritime security agency, ports and shipping and other agencies, while Pakistan Navy heads it.

The exercise, which started on October 21, included the employment of operational units of Pakistan Navy including ships, aircraft, submarines, Special Services Group and Pakistan Marines. A group of media persons were taken to PNS Nasr, which is located in North Arabian Sea, via Sea King helicopters so that they could witness Seaspark 2009.

According to ISPR officials, the main object of the exercise was to assess the operational readiness of Pakistan Navy and provide an opportunity to the officers and men to operate under multi-threat environment and exercise responses.

The Seaspark 2009 maritime exercise was held in four phases, including the planning or standby phase, opening brief or mobilisation, the war that was divided into two parts, the precautionary (harbour) phase and tactical (war at sea) phase and the analysis, which would start on November 2. During the exercise on Thursday, the personnel demonstrated their expertise by landing from helicopters into ships to search them, while they also demonstrated how to search submarines.

“The North Arabian Sea is the most important waterway, which does not only hold importance for being Pakistan’s pathway of 97’s trade, but also for the world as most of trade is done via this channel,” said Bashir, adding that besides having commercial importance, it is also important because it leads to the Arab countries, which have almost 97 percent of the world’s total oil reserves.

He said that Pakistan is the only non-NATO country that is a part of the Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), which is a multinational coalition naval task force with logistics facilities established to monitor, inspect, board, and stop suspected shipping to pursue the War on Terrorism. Pakistan is also a part of the Horn of Africa region (HOA), including operations in the North Arabian Sea and also the part of Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151), the international naval task force against piracy on ships, off the coast of Somalia.

Answering a question, Bashir said that the Gwadar port must constructed as a commercial port where Pakistan Navy is a building base for naval operation. Talking about a ferry service, he said that until there is no demand for such a service, it would not be considered.


Pakistan Navy is toast.

Pakistan needs to spend more on education and reforming madrassahs rather than on defence.

Pakistan is sinking from inside.

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