US navy guided missile cruiser karachi
US Navy’s guided-missile cruiser visits Karachi Port for joint Pakistan and US naval drills. Image Credit: Pakistan Navy

Islamabad: The navies of Pakistan and the United States held a joint drill in the North Arabian Sea, according to Pakistan Navy.

The guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61) participated in the drills termed ‘Passage Exercise’. The US Navy ship received a warm and cordial welcome at Karachi port.

The overnight visit of the ship included meeting with Commander of the Pakistan Fleet and discussion on roles and responses during a particular emergency situation.

The naval exercise included various seamanship and warfare drills. “Overall the visit of USS Monterey (CG-61) proved eventful and professionally rewarding for both the navies,” the official statement read. Pakistan Navy officials hoped that the visit will “further strengthen relations between both the navies.”

During the ship’s visit, US Embassy Chargé d’affaires Lesslie Viguerie also met the crew. “The United States and Pakistan militaries enjoy strong and enduring ties,” he said.

Pakistan Navy and US Navy are working together to ensure a safe and secure maritime environment in the region. “Through staff exchanges and joint exercises, we are working together to protect the world’s most important maritime routes, combatting piracy, and terrorism. Together, we can help ensure a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous South Asia,” Viguerie said.

The Monterey’s visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team helped improve bilateral maritime security capabilities and interoperability between the naval experts. “It’s important that we continue to work together with regional and coalition partners and reinforce our mutual commitment to maritime security and stability,” said Captain Joseph A Baggett, commanding officer of Monterey.

Pakistan Navy frequent hold drills with friendly countries to contribute towards safety, security and freedom of navigation at high seas. Pakistan Navy has also participated in Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan since 2004 and is presently undertaking Regional Maritime Security Patrols to ensure safe and secure seas for the common cause of peace and stability in the region.