KARACHI: Three-day exercise Barracuda-IX was inaugurated by Pakistan Maritime Security Agency here Tuesday here at Beach Luxury Hotel.
Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi graced the occasion as chief guest. Director General Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, Rear Admiral Zaka Ur Rehman SI(M), Chairman KPT Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar, Turkish Consul General Tolga UCAK, Flag officers, heads and representatives of various government/ civil organizations, foreign observers and media personnel attended the opening session, says a Press release.
As many as 20 foreign observers from Turkey, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Maldives and Sri Lanka are also participating in the exercise. Director General PMSA Rear Admiral Zaka ur Rehman welcomed all guests in the opening session.
He said that aim of Barracuda is to exercise Marine Oil Spill response and Search & Rescue procedures as per National Marine Disaster Contingency Plan (NMDCP). He said that Barracuda series of exercise is conducted on regular basis under overall coordination of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency. Inclusion of foreign observers is an essential step in coordinated response against oil spill as well as Search & Rescue requirements at a regional level as well.
He also said that I am confident that the working relations created during this exercise will surly prove fruitful in any future requirement for a catastrophe requiring efforts from regional agencies.
The chief guest Ali Haider Zaidi, in his address, appreciated the devoted participation of all the stakeholders for putting in their efforts and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency for coordinating and leading the exercise in a professional and proficient manner.
He said that it is moral obligation of all national elements involving all stakeholder agencies and related organization to remain prepared for these natural calamities.
He added that inclusion of Search and Rescue operations in Barracuda exercise through real time involvement of air and sea units will definitely improve the efficacy of distress alert systems and conduct of rescue mission in Pakistan Maritime Security Agency Area of Responsibility.
He also said that Pakistan has always been and will continue the efforts in improving the overall security and safety environment in Arabian Sea and we will always be there in making this region and the world a better place for all our future generations. Sea phase of exercise will be held on 5 Dec 18 in North Arabian sea near Karachi, whereas, land phase is scheduled at Clifton Beach Karachi on 6 Dec 18 to rehearse oil spill response on land.
The units of PMSA along with Pakistan Navy and various government/civil organizations including Ministry of Climate Change, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Karachi Port Trust, Port Qasim Authority, Gwadar Port Authority, National Institute of Oceanography, Provincial Disaster Management Authorities, SEPA, Pakistan Metrological Department, Bahria Foundation, China Power Hub Generation Company Ltd, Shell Pakistan Ltd, Pakistan Oil Refinery Ltd, National Oil Refinery Ltd, Oil Companies Advisory Committee, City Govt Karachi, BYCO Petroleum Pakistan Ltd, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, Pakistan State Oil, Total Parco Marketing Ltd, KANUPP, CAA, HUBCO, Pakistan State Oil, NCMPR, SUPARCO, FOTCO etc. are participants in the Exercise.