Lahore : Pakistan Navy Ship, PNS ALAMGIR (FFG 260), a multi-mission Frigate of 25th Destroyer Squadron arrived at Aksaz Naval Base of Turkey with an embarked ASW Helicopter to participate in the Multinational Maritime Exercise MAVI Balina 2016. The exercise, featuring NATO Navies, is being hosted by Turkish Navy in the Eastern Mediterranean.
PNS Alamgir, commanded by Captain Imtiaz Ali, was given a very warm welcome on its arrival at Aksaz Naval Base on 19 November. On Sunday evening, Captain Imtiaz and Embassy of Pakistan hosted a reception onboard PNS Alamgir. Admiral Veysel KÖSELE, Fleet Commander of Turkish Naval Forces was chief guest. A large number of senior officers of Turkish Navy, participating navies, foreign defence attaches based in Turkey, and dignitaries of Mugla province attended the reception. Rear Admiral Waseem Akram of Pakistan Navy and Naval Attache of Pakistan in Turkey Capt. Khan Mahmood Asif also attended.
Welcoming the guests at the reception, Capt. Imtiaz said Pakistan and Turkey historically enjoy close and brotherly relations. As brothers in arms, Pakistan and Turkish navies have also maintained warm and cordial relations since decades. The interaction between the two navies include regular exercises, port calls, training exchange programmes and collaboration in naval construction. “PNS Alamgir’s participation in Mavi Balina-2016 is manifestation of strong bondage between the two navies and firm commitment to cooperate for enhancing interoperability and mutual understanding,” said Capt. Imtiaz adding “Mavi Balina-2016 will provide an opportunity to the participating navies to rehearse and refine tactics, techniques and procedures in a multinational maritime environment.”
Admiral Veysel KÖSELE in his remarks on the occasion appreciated Pakistan Navy’s active participation in Mavi Balina. He hoped that the exercise will provide an opportunity for participating navies to share experience in responding to contemporary challenges.
Pakistan Navy ships have regularly been participating in Mavi Balina Exercise in the past as well while PNS Alamgir has the honour to participate for second time in this exercise.
Mavi Balina is evolving into a common forum for both Western and Eastern nations, to share, discuss and propose solutions for Collaborative Maritime Security which is one of the critical contemporary maritime challenges. PNS ALAMGIR’s participation in this exercise will further strengthen existing bilateral relations of Pakistan Navy with the Turkish Navy and other participating navies. Reciprocatory visits of high level defence delegations, exchange training programmes and visits of naval units is a regular feature of Turkey-Pakistan defence relations. To further boost defence ties, Pakistan Navy is planning to organize the fifth multinational exercise AMAN-17 in February 2017 where more than 30 navies including Turkish Navy are expected to participate.
Pakistan Navy is actively involved in maintaining peace and stability in the region – from Gulf of Aden to Gulf of Oman including North Arabian Sea. Pakistan Navy ships are vigorously operating and participating in all peace keeping missions. Pakistan Navy joined the Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP) in 2003 and had commanded the Coalition Task Force-150 nine times. Due to Pakistan Navy’s proactive stance and operations, not a single terrorism related incident has occurred in its area of operation.