The Pakistan Navy started a major naval drill yesterday, in which large numbers of seamen and marine vessels are expected to attend. The exercises, which have been termed as SEASPARK-12 will test the operational readiness and the capabilities of the Pakistani Naval Forces. The Chief of Naval Staff of Pakistan Navy, Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila will be attending the naval drills, along with a number of senior military and government officials. The drills will take place a few kilometres off the port city of Karachi, in the northern part of the Arabian Sea.

According to the senior officials from the Pakistan Navy, apart from testing the readiness of the troops, the exercise will also analyze the ability of the naval forces to work under extreme climatic conditions. Officials are hoping that exercises such as these will help to contribute to the Navy’s ability to maintain the peace and stability in the northern Arabian Sea region. The exercises will also cover some of the other fields, such as search and rescue missions, and anti-piracy operations.

The naval sources informed local media that a large number of the vessels belonging to the Pakistani Navy, including Fast Attack Crafts (FACs), missile boats, submarines, marine aircraft and patrol boats will be taking part in the exercises. In addition to the troops from the Pakistan Navy, a number of soldiers from the Army will also be taking part in the drills. Some of the aircrafts of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) are also participating in the exercises, along with a small number of Air Force personnel.

The SEASPARK exercises, which are conducted annually, are one of the most important fixtures in the training calendar of the Pakistan Navy. The exercises were first conducted by the naval forces in 1979. At that time, they were conducted once every two years. The navy had recently decided to increase the frequency to once a year.