Pakistan Navy Ship, PNS SAIF (FFG 253), with an embarked Z9EC Helicopter is participating in multinational naval exercise “Mavi Balina 2018” hosted by the Turkish Navy during 28 September to 7 October 2018. Pakistan Navy P3C-Orion aircraft is also participating in the exercise from Dalaman Airbase.
Conducted in the Eastern Mediterranean, the exercise is aimed at practicing anti-submarine defense. Naval and air forces from Turkey, NATO, the United States, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Algeria, Qatar, Kuwait, Pakistan, Romania and Saudi Arabia are participating. Pakistan Navy ships have regularly been participating in Mavi Balina Exercise in the past. This exercise has evolved 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 SAIF will also participate in the joint Pakistan-Turkish Navies exercise “TURGUTREIS-II” from 8-9 October 2018.
Commanded by Captain Shahid Wasif, PNS SAIF is the 3rd Ship of Sword Class, which is a multi-mission frigate, commissioned in the Navy on 15 September 2010. The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors for undertaking all types of maritime operations in multi-threat environment. The ship is also embarked with organic Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopter Z9EC.
Pakistan Ambassador to Turkey Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi and Commanding Officer of PNS SAIF Captain Shahid Wasif co-hosted a reception on-board on Saturday evening. Admiral Ercüment Tatlıoğlu, Fleet Commander of Turkish Naval Forces was the chief guest. Rear Admiral Asif Khaliq, Commander Karachi, Naval Attache of Pakistan in Turkey Capt. Khan Mahmood Asif, senior officers of the Turkish Navy, participating navies and foreign defence attaches based in Turkey attended the reception.
Welcoming the guests at the reception, Capt. Wasif said Pakistan and Turkey enjoy close fraternal ties. 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 SAIF’s participation in Mavi Balina-2018 is manifestation of strong bondage between the two navies and firm commitment to cooperate for enhancing interoperability and mutual understanding,” he added.