Exercise Seaspark 2018: Operational Preparedness of PN Fleet Commended by CJCSC and CNS

Opening brief of Pakistan Navy’s Exercise Seaspark 2018 was held in Karachi and was graced by the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi as the chief guest. The exercise is conducted biennially in order to assess war preparedness and validate operational plans of Pakistan Navy (PN) taking cognizance of emerging regional and global challenges. 

The Exercise spanning over two months was conducted in Arabian Sea all along Pakistan Coast from Jiwani to Sir Creek. Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and representatives of Ministry of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Interior and Finance also participated in the Exercise. During the opening brief, Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff (Operations) presented overview of the Exercise which was followed by presentation of operational plans by the Force Commanders. 

All operational units of PN including ships, submarines, aircraft, UAVs, Special Forces and Pakistan Marines along with elements of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), Pakistan Army and PAF participated in the exercise.

CNS’ Visit to Coastal Areas
With a view to witness the operational readiness of the troops during Exercise Seaspark 2018, Naval Chief visited naval units and installations on Makran Coast including Gwadar, Turbat and Jinnah Naval Base, Ormara.

Upon arrival at HQ COMWEST at Gwadar – entrusted with defence and security of Gwadar Port, a lynchpin of CPEC, through effective employment of Task Force-88 – CNS was received by Commander Coast, Rear Admiral Moazzam llyas and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Operations), Rear Admiral Faisal Rasul Lodhi. A comprehensive brief was presented on operational deployment of assets along the west coast to maintain coastal security and harbour defence and ground based air defence of designated areas. Subsequently, CNS witnessed live weapon firing of ground based surface-to-air missiles, wherein firing of three different types of air defence missiles was demonstrated. 
Later, CNS visited Turbat and Jinnah Naval Base, Ormara. Upon arrival, he was received by Commander Pakistan Fleet, Rear Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi. During the visit, CNS was given detailed briefings on the ongoing operational activities at coastal stations of Turbat and Ormara. 

The CNS also interacted with the troops at various stations and expressed his satisfaction on the professional excellence and high morale of the troops in ensuring impregnable defence of the motherland and reaffirmed the resolve of Pakistan Navy to ensure seaward defence of Pakistan and safeguard national maritime interests at all costs. He reiterated that any misadventure by the enemy shall be thwarted with an iron fist. 

CNS Reviews Fleet Activities 
CNS witnessed the preparedness of naval combat platforms in North Arabian Sea and unit ashore. 
Upon his arrival onboard Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) operating in the North Arabian Sea, the CNS was received by Commander Pakistan Fleet, Rear Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi. Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Operations), Rear Admiral Faisal Rasul Lodhi was also present. 

Detailed briefings given to the CNS focused on conduct of the exercise and deployment of PN assets at sea including ships, submarines, aircraft along with elements of PMSA and PAF. He expressed his satisfaction and confidence in the operational capabilities of Pakistan Navy and urged that the prevalent challenges necessitate eternal vigilance and operational readiness to safeguard the national maritime interests. While interacting with the crew of the ships he lauded their professionalism and dedication in carrying out the sacred duties of defending maritime frontiers of Pakistan. 

The Naval Chief also attended operational briefings of Force Commanders at PNS BAHADUR, Karachi to review and validate their deployment and exercise plans.


CNS’ Visit to Creeks Area

During the visit to forward posts of Pakistan Marines along Sir Creek to review their formations he was received by Commander Coast, Rear Admiral Moazzam Ilyas and Commander Karachi, Rear Admiral Asif Khaliq.

Comprehensive briefings were given to CNS about the troops deployed for the defence of Creeks Area which constitutes South Eastern maritime boundary of Pakistan. On inspecting the forward locations, CNS appreciated the alertness, commitment and readiness of the deployed troops. He directed to ensure optimal utilization of latest weaponry and equipment with motivation and alacrity in order to safeguard maritime boundaries of Pakistan. He commended officers and men for maintaining high morale, courage and spirit of sacrifice. 

During his interaction with the troops, CNS appreciated the operational readiness and determination to safeguard maritime frontiers of the country at the critical area under harsh topographic environment comprising marshes, swamps and unpredictable waterways. Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Operations), Rear Admiral Faisal Rasul Lodhi was also present on the occasion.

Earlier, CNS also visited Joint Maritime Information & Coordination Centre (JMICC) at Manora, Karachi where he was given a detailed briefing on the operational aspects in the presence of other maritime stakeholders. JMICC has been established by Pakistan Navy to harmonize the efforts of all maritime stakeholders through timely gathering and sharing of information to effectively safeguard maritime interests of Pakistan.

Live Weapon Firing
In an impressive display, Pakistan Navy Destroyers demonstrated their firepower (missile firings) in North Arabian Sea. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), General Zubair Mahmood Hayat as the chief guest witnessed live weapon firing from PNS MOAWIN; a newly-commissioned combat logistic support ship. CJCSC reviewed fleet units and fly-past by Naval Air Arm, commending the operational readiness of PN fleet and the officers and men of Pakistan Navy for their commitment to the line of duty. He said that Pakistan Navy has transformed into a strong and formidable force in protecting national maritime interests in the region and beyond.
The firepower demonstration was also witnessed by Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan and senior officers of the tri-services. 

The event was conducted at the culmination of Sea Phase of the Exercise. CNS also appreciated the joint operations, especially the enhanced coordination between PN and PAF in the maritime domain. 

Anti-ship missiles too were fired successfully by PNS SHAMSHEER and SHAHJAHAN. Both missiles hit their targets affirming PN’s war fighting capability.
CNS pointed out PN’s readiness to defeat any misadventure and aggression against Pakistan in the maritime domain. He further said, “Pakistan Navy fleet is a four-dimensional force which is combat ready and prepared to tackle grey hybrid warfare threats. The firing of missiles is an expression of our resolve to shoulder the sacred responsibility of defending Pakistan. PN has also initiated RMSP in line with national objectives and international obligations to maintain peace and order at sea in the region and beyond.” 
Exercise Seaspark 2018 will afford the opportunity to enhance combat readiness of Pakistan Navy and interoperability with sister services. Besides enhancement of operational preparedness, the Exercise also focused on seaward defence including defence of maritime component of CPEC and response against threats emanating from sea and land.

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