HMAS Toowoomba Participates Exercise AMAN 2013

HMAS Toowoomba Participates Exercise AMAN 2013

HMAS Toowoomba recently participated with other navies in Exercise AMAN 2013 while deployed on maritime security operations in the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO).

Exercise AMAN 2013 was hosted by the Pakistan Navy to promote peace and stability in the region and enhance interoperability among partner naval forces.

AMAN 2013 saw 33 countries participate with 18 ships, seaborne helicopters, long-range surveillance aircraft, and Special Operations Forces and Explosive Ordinance Disposal teams.

The Commanding Officer of Toowoomba, Commander Brendon Zilko, highlighted the long-standing friendship between Pakistan and Australia.

“We share the same aims and it is our common desire to eradicate crime on the high seas,” CMDR Zilko said.

HMAS Toowoomba joined participants from Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UAE, UK and USA.

Toowoomba went alongside in Karachi to conduct pre-exercise briefings for exercise preparations and host an official reception.

“The official reception was an opportunity for Toowoomba to show their appreciation for being hosted and shown such great hospitality by the Pakistan Navy during our visit to Karachi,” Commander Zilko said.

Participating nations were invited to an International Cultural Fair and Food Gala attended by more than 500 sailors and dignitaries prior to the sea phase of the exercise.

About 34 members of Toowoomba’s Ship’s Company attended the Gala that provided opportunity to meet fellow mariners.

Each participating nation was allocated a stall to decorate with traditional flair and cultural items from their region or country.

Toowoomba and 18 other ships departed Karachi on March 8 to participate in a range of manoeuvre, anti-submarine and surface warfare exercises. Maritime security operations demonstrations such as boarding party operations were also practiced.

“With participants from 13 navies and comprising a wide variety of naval assets, Exercise AMAN 2013 was an excellent opportunity to promote military cooperation, share best practice and demonstrate our mutual commitment to the region,” Commander Zilko said.

Exercise AMAN 2013 was conducted from 4 to 8 March in the Arabian Sea, the fourth in a biennial series of exercises off Pakistan’s coast. “Aman” is an Urdu word for “peace” and this is the third time Australia has participated in this exercise.

Naval Today Staff, March 15, 2013; Image: Australian Navy