Monday, March 09, 2009

U.S. Navy, Coast Guard Ships Participate in Exercise Aman 2009

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- USCGC Boutwell (WHEC 719) departed Karachi, Pakistan, March 9 after a four-day port visit to participate in the international naval exercise Aman 2009, marking the first time a U.S. ship has pulled into Pakistan since May 2008.

The 10-day exercise, which began March 5, focuses on air, surface and maritime security training and includes representatives from 38 countries as well as ships from 11 nations to include the United States, United Kingdom, Pakistan and Australia. The at-sea portion of the exercise will primarily be conducted in the North Arabian Sea, off the coast of Pakistan.

"This exercise provides U.S. and international forces the opportunity to work together and train across the spectrum of naval disciplines," said Capt. Rick Williams, U.S. 5th Fleet Maritime Operations Center director. "Aman 2009 will improve the interoperability and tactical proficiency between coalition nations and enhance our navies' effectiveness in supporting maritime security objectives."

U.S. ships participating in the exercise include Boutwell, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), all assigned to U.S. 5th Fleet.

During Aman 2009, ships will conduct surface exercises, air-defense training, explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) exercises and participate in foreign officer exchanges.

U.S. forces will conduct the exercise March 5-14 alongside international navies as part of regional maritime security operations (MSO). Aman 2009 is
designed to improve maritime security in the region, strengthen international partnerships and highlight the importance of maritime cooperation.

Pakistan is an integral member of the Combined Maritime Forces headquartered in Bahrain and has commanded Combined Task Force 150 twice, most recently November 2007-February 2008. They are also an important regional partner and play an important role in helping provide security and stability to the region.

MSO enhance stability in the maritime environment, which promotes global prosperity. These operations complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or illicit material.