Islamabad: Pakistan and Qatar navy forces held first-ever Bilateral Exercise Asad Al Bahr-I during the present tour of Doha. Asad Al Bahr-I exercise between Pakistan Navy and QENF was conducted from 15-18 Mar 18. During the exercise, the ships demonstrated different naval operations including combat search and rescue and boarding operations. According to the spokesperson of Pakistan Navy, the joint exercise will help promote cooperation between the navies of the two countries.
Besides Pakistani ships, QENF ships HUWAR, AL DEEBEL and AL LUWSAIL along with two MRTPs (Multi-Role Tactical Platform) participated in the exercise. The exercise is considered a historic benchmark which will certainly further solidify existing defence relations between the two brotherly Muslim countries. Exercise Asad Al Bahr-I was planned to mutually benefit from each other’s experiences and enhance interoperability between the two navies. The exercise involved tactical to operational level exercises in harbour and at sea including Air Defence, Force Protection and Maritime Infrastructure Protection exercises. The exercise also laid a special focus on Combat Search & Rescue and Boarding Operations. The exercise remained professionally rewarding and will grow in scale, complexity and participation level of forces in times to come.
Pakistan Navy Ship HIMMAT and Pakistan Maritime Security Ship BASOL headed by Mission Commander Commodore M Faisal Abbasi arrived Port Hamad Qatar on 11 Mar 18 to participate in Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition (DIMDEX-2018) and maiden Bilateral Exercise Asad Al Bahr-I between Pakistan and Qatar Emiri Naval Forces (QENF). PNS HIMMAT is state of the art indigenously built Fast Attack Craft (Missile) of Pakistan Navy whereas PMSS BASOL belongs to latest HINGOL Class Maritime Patrol Vessels of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) also being indigenously constructed in Pakistan.
Upon arrival of ships at Port Hamad, Doha, Pakistani ships actively participated in DIMDEX-2018 which was hosted by Qatar Armed Forces. Various events were arranged under DIMDEX-2018, which were attended by Defence and Security Ministers, Chief of Staffs, Chiefs of Navies, Coastguard Commanders and representatives of Defence Ministries of the region and beyond. In addition to PN units, ships from Bangladesh, Italy, India, Oman, Qatar, UK and USA participated in DIMDEX-2018.
During this period, a reception dinner was also hosted on board PMSS BASOL with an overwhelming response. The event was attended by Minister of Defence Production of Pakistan, DG PMSA, Ambassadors, Defence/ Naval Attaches and embassy officials from several foreign countries. In addition, Commander QENF and prominent members of Pakistani diasporas also attended the reception. After successful visit to Qatar, ships left Port Hamad, Doha on 19 Mar 18 and were seen off by QENF officers and Defence Attaché of Pakistan in Doha, Qatar.