|A file photo of Pakistani Navy soldiers during Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad (Photo: Reuters)|
NATO and Russia will be coming together for the first time in a decade to share the same platform this month in Pakistani waters, the last time the Russian navy conducted joint military drills with NATO members was in the "Bold Monarch" exercise in 2011, which took place off the coast of Spain.
The exercise titled AMAN 2021 under the tag of “Together for Peace” kicks off in Pakistani waters from 11th February and will continue until the 16th of February. The collaborative drills are being held since 2007 when it started with three participants.
A total of 46 countries would be participating in the Aman 2021 exercise which includes participating fleets from, US, China, Russia, UK, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries from ASEAN, South Asia, African Union, EU, GCC and NATO among others.
“Exercise AMAN 2021 is about bridging gaps and making it possible to operate together in pursuance of common objectives,” Rear Admiral Naveed Ashraf, commander of the Pakistani fleet, said Monday.
An official statement quoted him as saying that participating nations will attend the military drills with their “surface and air assets, special operation forces and maritime teams.”
“Pakistan considers that maritime security is not just important for itself but for all other countries whose prosperity and progress are strongly bonded with the seas,” Ashraf said.
The main objective / theme of AMAN series of multinational exercises are to promote regional cooperation and stability, greater interoperability and to display a united resolve against terrorism and crimes in maritime domain including piracy. The conduct of exercise AMAN is divided into Harbour and Sea Phases.
As many as 46 countries and 115 observers participated in Aman-19 naval exercises and around 11 navies, including those of China, US, UK, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Malaysia, Oman; Sri Lanka participated with their warships.