The first Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP) frigate set sail for Pakistan on Monday. The frigate was acquired by Pakistan Navy from the United States. The ship is formerly known as the USS McINERNEY (FFG-8) and was commissioned in the Pakistan Navy as the PNS ALAMGIR (FFG-260) on August, 31, 2010 during a huge ceremony at the Mayport, Naval Station. The ceremony was attended by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani. After commissioning, the PNS ALAMGIR underwent modernization and refurbishment and the BAE System Shipyard in Jacksonville Florida. 18 officers and 218 CPO/ Sailors underwent a series of training sessions to be able to operate the ship.
The Ship Transfer and Assistance Team (STAT) contributed greatly in the training. The Pakistan Crew’s stay in the US, not only contributed to the better understanding on issues of mutual concern, but also strengthened the relations between the two nations. Captain Naveed Ashraf T.Bt TI(M) was announced as the first Commanding Officer of the PNS ALAMGIR.
The ship set sail for Pakistan on Monday, after the completion of the final trials and cre workup. The ship is scheduled to stop at Bermuda (UK), Azores (Portugal), Cadiz (Spain), Golcuk (Turkey), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and Salalah (Oman) and would eventually reach Pakistan on 13 May 2011.
The PNS ALAMGIR will be a part of the 18th Frigate Squadron of the Pakistan Navy Fleet. Pakistan has become one of the important members of Global War on Terror (GWOT). Due to Pakistani government’s decision to fight terrorism, the Pakistan Navy joined the maritime coalition against terrorism which is led by the US. At the moment the Navy participates in the Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP) which is one of the maritime components of the Global War on Terrorism. The CMCP encompasses operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The coalition forces work under the command of United States Naval Forces Central Command (US NAVCENT). The responsibility areas include the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea and Red Sea.
Despite the strong resource constraints, the Pakistan Navy has always been a number one participant in the CMCP. The Pakistan Navy was the first regional navy to form a part of the CMCP and has greatly contributed its assents to ensuring stability and peace in the region. The Pakistan Navy has so far contributed one frigate to Task Force 150 (TF-150) and a Type-21 frigate to Task Force 151 (TF-151).
The Pakistan Navy has commanded TF-150 f our times and is currently in charge of the TF-151 off the coast of Somalia, where they are countering piracy. Pakistan is also the first non-NATO country to command a Task Force.
The Oliver Hazard Perry Class Frigates are being used by a lot of navies and their main strength is conducting Maritime Security Operations which have become the main concern of the nations. The PNS ALAMGIR is scheduled to augment Maritime Security Operations in the Arabian Sea. Another of its goals is to support the Pakistan Navy Surface Fleet.
The PNS ALAMGIR has been named after Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir who was the sixth Muslim Ruler of Great Mughal Empire and is known to be one of the most fierce and experienced warriors, who protected his territories and was the Empire’s leader for nearly 50 years. Thanks to him the influence of the Mughal Empire was spread to the entire Indian Sub-continent.