By Durmus Genc and Sabri Kesen
MUGLA, Turkey (AA) - The Dogu Akdeniz-19 (Eastern Mediterranean-2019) joint international naval exercise is important to demonstrate the interoperability between the allied nations of Turkey and Pakistan, a Pakistani navy captain said on Tuesday.
PNS Alamgir Captain Muhammad Akram told Anadolu Agency that all personnel participating in the exercise were provided with advanced training, along with the opportunity to observe various types of navy ships.
Opening the ship's doors to Anadolu Agency, Akram said the crew were extremely proud to take part in the 12-day multinational maritime exercise, which concludes on Nov. 20.
Pakistan and the Turkish Naval Forces support each other in many areas including drilling, port visits and training. We are very happy with the Turkish-Pakistani brotherhood, friendship and warm relations, he added.
The PNS Alamgir reached Aknaz Naval Base in the Aegean Sea off Turkey's southwest coast near Mugla province on Saturday.
The naval forces of the U.S., Turkey, Pakistan, Canada, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Greece and Spain are also participating in the drill.
"Being the largest exercise ever regarding the number of participants, the 2019 Eastern Mediterranean Exercise is ongoing with participation from almost 4700 personnel and 48 ships from 15 nations," the Turkish National Defense Ministry said Sunday on Twitter.
Operation Mediterranean Shield is conducted jointly by various regional allied navies headed by the Turkish Navy.
Turkish navy vessels also participate in drills hosted by Pakistan.
Also, the naval forces conducted a joint drill in February in the Arabian Sea dubbed Turgutreis-III.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar