The year 2020, remained encumbered in terms of Pakistan Navy (PN) multifaceted operational activities and initiatives in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
- As the world is combating against the deadly virus and Pakistan was no exception to it. PN accomplished its objectives in various domains ranging from exercising combat readiness at sea and providing assistance to local populace during various natural calamities through relief operations. The broad contours of the initiatives span over the year are highlighted in the ensuing paragraphs.
- PN Participation in Bilateral & Multinational Naval Exercises.
In Combat Readiness domain, PN participated in various bilateral exercises that include Ex Sea Guardians-2020 with PLA (Navy), Ex White Star-2020 with Royal Britain Navy, Ex MAVI BALINA 2020 and Ex TURGUTREIS-V with Turkish Navy. The naval drills were designed to further strengthen mutual learning, experience sharing and to enhance interoperability between participating navies. In addition to bilateral exercises, PN ships while maintaining Regional Maritime Security Patrol in the region participated in passage exercises with naval ships of Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, South Korean Navy, Royal Navy and Coordinated joint patrol with Turkish Navy. The passage exercises encompassed various operational serials with aim to augment collaborative efforts to ensure maritime security in the region.
- Ex Seaspark-2020. Beside Pakistan Navy’s major maritime exercise SEASPARK-2020 was also held at Karachi. The biennial exercise is steered to assess war preparedness & validate operational plans of Pakistan Navy in cognizance to emerging regional and global challenges. The exercise SEASPARK-2020 was conducted in Arabian Sea along Pakistan Coast from Jiwani to Sir Creek. Naval platforms/ assets of Pakistan Navy, Special Forces & Pak Marines along with Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), Pak Army and Pakistan Air Force participated in the exercise. Conduct of such multi-faceted exercises helps to ensure operational readiness and resilient response to any eventuality. Pakistan Navy is committed to provide secure maritime environment in the global commons for international shipping and counter illicit activities out at sea. All the exercises were conducted under implementation of stringent COVID-19 protocols.
- Successful Fire Power Displays by Pakistan Navy. During the sea operations, Pakistan Navy successfully demonstrated Fire Power at North Arabian Sea by launching antiship missiles from various fleet combat platforms including Surface, Sub-Surface and Aviation units. The successful firings have corroborated Pakistan Navy’s warfare capabilities and sustained combat potential to support mission executions and reaffirmed PN’s professionalism and combat potential.
- PN Ships’ Overseas Deployment. As part Overseas deployments, PN ships continued the regional patrols and visited various ports as part of foreign policy objective. PN ships visited ports of Oman, Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles, Turkey, Jordon and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). During these visits, PN officers called on various military and government officials of the host countries and discussed matters of mutual interests. PN ships provided humanitarian assistance to further develop cordial relations with host Navies. The deployment of PN Ships effectively promoted a peaceful and progressive image of Pakistan. This opportunity was aptly utilized to highlight atrocities of Indian Armed Forces in Indian Illegaly Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K).
- Assuming Command of Combined Task Force (CTF-151). Pakistan Navy assumed Command of Multinational Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) for the ninth time. CTF-151 is one of the three Combined Task Forces operating under Commander Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). Its mission is to suppress piracy in the Horn of Africa, Gulf of Aden and adjoining ocean space under CMF.
- Pakistan Navy Developmental Programs & Acquisitions. PN developmental and Acquisitions program continued throughout the year. The inductions include maritime patrol aircrafts (MPA) & unmanned aerial systems which enhanced operational capability of PN air arm. Besides, induction of LUNA NG Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) also augmented Pakistan Navy’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in maritime domain especially in Creeks area along the Coastal belt. Launching of 1st Ship of Type-054 A/P Class Frigate and Keel laying of 2nd Ship of same type marked a significant milestone in induction of cutting-edge Frigate for Pakistan Navy. The Type-054 Class, fitted with latest Surface, Subsurface, Anti-air weapons, Combat Management System and Sensors is one of the technologically advanced addition in Pakistan Navy Fleet. In addition, keel laying of 2nd MILGEM Class Corvette was held at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW). PN also inducted two state of the art corvettes PNS YARMOOK and PNS TABUK to its Fleet. The corvettes possess latest weapons & sensors having sophisticated self-protection and terminal defence systems being constructed at Romania.
- Joint Maritime Information Coordination Centre (JMICC). Pakistan Navy inauguration new state of the art Joint Maritime Information Coordination Centre (JMICC) at Karachi. JMICC functions as a nerve center to harmonize the efforts of all maritime related organizations/ agencies. It helps generating a coordinated response to maritime security challenges within Pakistan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), primarily through information sharing and inter department/ agency coordination.
- Seizure of Contraband Items by Pakistan Navy. During the entire year, PN remained vigilant in thwarting the criminal element in smuggling of drugs along coastal belt. In various joint intelligence operations with Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), Pakistan Customs and Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) intercepted and confiscated huge caches of narcotics/ drugs worth billions of rupees in international market. The successful execution of joint Anti-Narcotics Operations against narcotics smuggling was based on prolonged surveillance, operational coordination and timely relay of information. Pakistan Navy’s effective monitoring of our coastline and seas demonstrates to curb any illegal purpose.
- Inauguration of Educational Facilities. Pakistan Navy made prominent contributions in educational field during the year 2020. The inauguration of Pakistan Maritime Science and Technology Park (PMSTP) is a core objective to project jump start national blue economy through promotion of maritime sciences, technologies and businesses. PMSTP will also act as a vibrant platform for academia, government, industry collaboration and to further facilitate startups, industries, entrepreneurs through policy support and contribute in national GDP besides playing a critical role in mapping of national offshore riches. Besides, ground breaking of Bahria University dental College & Hospital was held. Bahria University is developing a Health Sciences Complex at Bahria University Medical & Dental College (BUM&DC), Karachi. In first phase of Health Sciences complex, Bahria University Medical & Dental College will be constructed. During Second phase, Pakistan Navy Nursing College & Medical Training School will be established and in the last phase, Allied Health Sciences & College of Physical Therapy will also be established.
- PN Humanitarian Assistance Operations Amid COVID-19 Pandemic. During the entire year, Pakistan Navy extended nationwide humanitarian assistance to aggrieved families during Corona Virus Pandemic and distributed food/ commodities & Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) at various cities/ towns, small villages/ Goths and hospitals across Pakistan. Thousands of ration bags carrying edibles /supplies and cash amounts were distributed to needy families in all the provinces of Pakistan. PN troops reached out to families in far-flung and rural areas of entire country for assistance. Additionally, Pakistan Navy in collaboration with philanthropist association distributed kits of Personal Protective suits along other necessary equipment to different authorities & hospitals in various cities. Pakistan Navy Women Association (PNWA) also remained vibrant in providing relief goods, restoring hope, educating community about safety precautions and extend donations to low-income and daily wages personnel.
- During the year 2020, Pakistan Navy in collaboration with various welfare associations and philanthropist foundations established free Medical Camps at far flung rural areas of Sindh and Balochistan. PN medical teams comprised of qualified specialists provided free quality treatment to local populace as gesture of humanity. At free medical camps, patients were comprehensively briefed and enlightened about various infectious diseases and their preventive measures particularly against COVID – 19 pandemic. In the aftermath of heavy rains in Sindh, Pakistan Navy rescue and emergency response teams conducted disaster relief operation in collaboration with civil administration in rain-hit areas. The team evacuated large number of local inhabitants stranded in rain flooded areas and provided them relief goods/ ration bags. During heavy spell of rain in Karachi, Pakistan Navy’s rescue and relief operation continued in various parts of the city. In assistance to civil administration, PN Emergency and response teams along with boats and requisite lifesaving equipment were deployed in different areas of the city in providing assistance to aggrieved populace.
- PN Laurels in Sports Field. In sports field, Pakistan Navy won laurels in different sports events. Pakistan Navy successfully defended the title of 27th National shooting championship consecutively for the 3rd time and also won Nation Sailing Championship. Pakistan Navy organized 14th CNS international squash championship in which players from 6 foreign countries participated. The 3rd PN international Nautical competition was also held at Karachi in which six international teams participated.
- PN Tree Plantation Campaign Pakistan Navy Spring Tree Plantation Campaign-2020 was conducted in line with govts policy for a clean and green Pakistan. In this campaign PN Planned to plant three hundred thousand saplings alone at Margalla Hills. Whereas, Fifth consecutive year campaign on Mangroves Plantation in the Coastal Areas of Sindh and Balochistan provinces entailed to plant over 03 million mangroves in coastal area. The campaign is marked to contribute towards improving ecosystem, subsiding alarming climate changes and meaningfully participating in national drive of Plant for Pakistan in line with vision of the government.
- Pakistan Navy in service of the nation shall always committed to defend the sea frontiers and augment in nation building objectives and initiatives.
Source: Radio Pakistan