Pakistan Navy Ship ASLAT visited Port Algiers, Algeria and Her Majesty’s Naval Base, Portsmouth, United Kingdom as part of overseas deployment to Mediterranean and European countries.
Upon arrival at Port Algiers, PNS ASLAT was warmly welcomed in a traditional naval manner. It was received by Colonel Azroulsghi, Commander Algiers Naval Base, along with Mr. Muhammad Tariq, Second Secretary Embassy of Pakistan, Algeria.
This was the first ever visit by a Pakistan Navy ship to Algeria. Prior to entry into the territorial waters of Algeria, Algerian Coast Guard Patrol Craft ARNAB (P-378) and DENEB (P-334) escorted the ship till the Port. Moreover, Defence Attaché of Pakistan, Brigadier Shahzad Iftikhar Bhatti along with Algerian Navy Liaison Officer boarded the ship at sea. PNS ASLAT Port Call was fully capitalized in terms of professional and social interactions with host country.
PN delegation headed by Commodore Muhammad Faisal Abbasi held meetings with Brigadier General Samah Zineddine, Commander Central Maritime Region Algerian Navy, Brigadier General Karboua Mourad, Chief of Operations HQ Algerian Navy and Mr. lmran Yawar, Ambassador of Pakistan. Pakistan Navy delegation also visited Algerian Naval Academy and was warmly welcomed by the Commandant. The highlight of the visit was a reception dinner hosted onboard on first day of ship’s arrival.
The Commander Central Maritime Region Algerian Navy graced the occasion as chief guest. Director External Relations Algerian MoD, Director South Asia MoFA Algeria and Ambassadors of Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Japan, Libya, Mexico, Poland and Sweden attended the dinner. Defence Attachés of China, Hungary, Japan, Mali, Russia, officers from Algerian Navy, Army and prominent local community members were also present.
Naval Exercises at sea comprising tactical manoeuvres, communication exercises’ drills and maritime interdiction operations (MIO) procedures between PNS ASLAT and Algerian Navy Ship RAIS KORFOU were also conducted to enhance interoperability and to share each other’s experience.
Upon arrival at Her Majesty’s Naval Base, Portsmouth, UK, PNS ASLAT was warmly welcomed by Commander Naval Base Portsmouth, High Commissioner of Pakistan and Defence and Naval Advisor. Royal Marines Band played melodious welcoming tunes.
PN Mission Commander, Commodore Muhammad Faisal Abbasi along with Commanding Officer PNS ASLAT held meetings with High Commissioner of UK to Pakistan, High Commissioner of Pakistan to UK, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Assistant Chief of Staff (Ships) Navy Command HQs and Commander Naval Base, Portsmouth. Moreover, Officers and CPOs/ Sailors also visited various Royal Navy training institutions including HMS Victory, the flagship of First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy. A reception was also hosted onboard PNS ASLAT at Portsmouth.
Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Anthony Radakin graced the occasion as chief guest. High Commissioner of Pakistan, Mr. Rehman Chishti Member British Parliament, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Representatives of UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UK MoD, Commander Portsmouth Flotilla and Defence Attachés of various countries were also present. As part of the visit, the ship was opened for Pakistani expatriates.
The visit carries special significance for both the navies as maiden PN-RN bilateral exercise in UK waters was also part of the visit programme. The exercise focused on MIO and other warfare related exercises between PN and RN ships to enhance interoperability and mutually benefit from each other’s experiences.