ISLAMABAD: Pakistani and Saudi forces on Sunday started the joint Naseem Al-Bahr 13 naval exercise in Karachi to improve their interoperability and strengthen bilateral ties, the Pakistan Navy said.
Royal Saudi Navy vessels reached the port of Karachi on Saturday and were welcomed by top Pakistan Navy officials.
The drill is part of the Naseem Al-Bahr exercise series between the Saudi and Pakistani naval forces.
“The exercise includes joint conduct of maritime security operations across the traditional and non-traditional warfare domains thus enhancing interoperability between both the navies,” the Pakistan Navy said in a statement, adding that the drill is “aimed to consolidate the existing strong bilateral relations between Pakistan Navy and Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF).”
The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) will also participate in the exercise with a number of combat aircraft.
“Besides Naval ships of both Navies, aviation units including PN & RSNF helicopters embarked onboard ships and aircraft of RSAF will also participate in this exercise,” the navy said.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Saturday quoted exercise commander Rear Adm. Sajer bin Rafeed Al-Anezi as saying Naseem Al-Bahr is a series joint exercises carried out by the Saudi naval forces and the Pakistani Navy, which aim to “unify concepts and joint work between the navies of the two countries.”
The two naval forces have strong relations as Pakistan had provided training to Saudi officers and sailors during the Saudi navy’s formative period between the 1970’s and 80’s.
Many Saudi officers are graduates of the Pakistan Naval Academy in Karachi.