Pakistan Marines

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Pakistan Marines
پاکستان سمندریوں
Official logo of the Pakistan Marines.jpg
Official emblem of the Pakistan Marines
Active 1970-1974
Country  Pakistan
Branch  Pakistan Navy
Type Marines
Role Expeditionary and Amphibious warfare
Size 3,200[1]
Part of Naval Strategic Forces Command
Pakistan Armed Forces
Marines Combatant Headquarters (MHQ) PNS Qasim Karachi, Sindh Province
Pakistan Maritime Academy, Karachi
Nickname(s) PM
Motto(s) And hold fast Allah's path and do not be divided
Anniversaries Navy Day: September 6
Engagements Bangladesh Liberation War
Operation Enduring Freedom – HOA
Operation Sir Creek
Indo-Pakistani War of 1999
War on Terror
War in North-West Pakistan
Operation Maddad-I
Operation Bright Star
Operation Madad-II
Commander Coast Areas, COMCOAST RAdm Moazzam Ilyas
Commandar Obaidullah
Commodore Faisal Mir
Abbreviation PM
Arm Badge Marines

The Pakistan Marines (Urdu: پاکستان سمندریوں‬; reporting name PM), or simply Marines (Urdu: سمندریوں‎), is an expeditionary and naval warfare uniform service branch of the Pakistan Navy that consists of active duty, high-ranking officers and other personnel of the Navy.[2] The Pakistan Marines are responsible for providing force projection from the sea, using the mobility of the Pakistan Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. Established in 1990, it is estimated to comprise about 3,200 active-duty personnel from the Navy as of 2017.[3]

In the Pakistani military leadership structure, the Marines are a component of the Pakistan Navy, often working closely with the Navy for training, executing expeditionary operations and logistics purposes.[2] They are not a separate branch of the armed forces. The Marines were first formed as an amphibious battalion on 1 June 1971, in East-Pakistan as naval infantry to execute operations;[4] however after poor performance[5] in the 1971 war with India, they were disbanded in 1974.[4] In 1990, the Marines were re-established by Commander Obaidullah; since then they have been a part of Navy, often conducting operations with other Pakistani naval forces.[4]

Pakistan Marines are primarily tasked with defending naval installations while also guarding and monitoring the disputed Sir Creek border with India. During their training at the Marines Training School, military exercises are occasionally conducted in conjunction with the United States Marine Corps. As befits their close association with the Navy, the PM share the same ranks as the rest of the Pakistan Navy but, their military codes and training are the same as in the Pakistan Army.[2] In 2010, Marines, in close co-ordination with the Pakistan Army, Navy, and Air Force, were working around the clock to rescue villagers trapped by the country's worst deluge in 80 years.[6]


The Pakistan Marines trace their history to 1971 when the East Pakistan Navy under Rear-Admiral Mohammad Shariff, formed the amphibious and expeditionary warfare wing on June 1, 1971.[7] The unit consisted of a Marine Battalion and an Amphibious Wing to support riverine operations in East Pakistan.[7] The entire geographical region of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) is essentially a dead level plain, making it highly difficult for the Pakistan Army to conduct operations of mechanized warfare, although it is ideal place for amphibious warfare.[5] The aim and objectives of the Indian Army was to occupy strategic areas of East Pakistan, notably the Chittagong and Khulna.[5] In these two areas, Indian Army aimed to establish the provisional government, the capture of the whole of East Pakistan was not even conceived. The Pakistan Navy in the East was capable of conducting the riverine operations, but with only four patrol craft and some two dozen improvised or confiscated river vessels.[5] But it could hardly challenge the Indian Navy in deep waters, especially in the absence of air cover.[5] The Marines on the other hand performed so poorly in operations that the completely surprised Pakistan Armed Forces therefore adopted the white papers of the Hamoodur Rahman Commission, and the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto disestablished, decommissioned and disbanded the Marines formation in 1974.[5]

The battalion of Pakistan Marines landing and ashore off a landing craft utility during a training exercise in support of Operation Bright Star.

The Marines were finally restored by Admiral Jasturul-Haq Malick, chief of naval staff of Navy, on 14 April 1990. Its initially objectives were to provide security to cover naval assets, naval bases, and to aide civil power using the Naval mobility. Immediately, the two battalions were raised after personnel from Naval police were drafted. Navy's Commander M. Obaidullah (PN. Service number 1558) was designated its first Commanding Officer. The Marines were headquartered at the Fort Qasim which was at that time under the operational control of PNS Himalayas. As a first step, PNS Qasim was commissioned as training Camp Depot Unit (DCU) on November 25, 1990. The commissioning crew consisted of eighty commissioned officers, sixty seven sailors from general service and forty three Marines. Since the Corps' establishment, Marines had performed their assigned task with utmost dedication and alacrity.

As part of the first combat assignment, the Marines were deployed at the Sir Creek region during the last decade, threat on the South-Eastern border increased manifolds, warranting an immediate response. Estimating the type and quantum of threat, the Pakistan Navy proposed deployment of a sizable force in the Sir Creeks region. The then-Rear Admiral Shahid Karimullah vigorously pursued the case of an additional battalion and its phase-wise development plan. Since its inception, Creeks Battalion is deployed in its designated Area of Responsibility.[8]

On 28 March 2013, Pakistan Navy commissioned the third battalion of Pakistan Marines in order to further strengthen the defense of the Gwadar Port and to enhance the security of vital Pakistan Navy assets and installations along the western coasts of Pakistan.[9]

Pakistan Marines Headquarters[edit]

PNS Qasim is the naval base for the Pakistan Marines. It is responsible for general administration and logistics requirements of the Marines. Its roles include:[7]

  • Act as logistics base for Marines.
  • Operational readiness of all segments of Marines.
  • Defense of designated operational area in Creek.
  • Provision of security coverage to VA/VPs of PN and sensitive projects of national importance.
  • Aid to civil power and rendering of assistance in case of natural calamities.
  • Provision of Air Defense cover to designated PN units and Karachi complex through deployment of Mistral Missiles, and Air Defense Balloons.
  • Responsible for conduct of basic and mid-career course for Marines.
  • Maintain liaison with other PN and Army Institutions for coordinating various courses of instructions.
  • Supervision/career management of Marines.
  • Ceremonial duties.


The Chief of Naval Staff, a four-star admiral, served as both the commandant of the Marines and as well as chief of the Navy. The Marines operational and intelligence directorates functioned by the Commander Coast Areas (COMCOAST) who directly reports to the chief of staff of the Navy.[citation needed] The Marine Training Center (MTC) was established in 1990 to impart basic and advance training to Marines and is equipped with modern training aid facilities to facilitate the conduct of various basic and advance-level courses.[7] Earlier, the Marines were trained as naval infantry covering both aspects of sea and land warfare. The Marines are provided comprehensive training in unarmed combat, close-quarter battle, security duties, swimming, small-arms handling and infantry tactics.[7]

The Pakistan Marine unit members dressed in operational camouflage uniforms with their U.S. counterparts.

The Pakistan Naval Academy serves as military ethics and training institutions for Officer Marines where they are trained together as Navy's Officer Cadets (OS) before being assigned to PAK MARINES, It is in PNA they adopt the naval warfare techniques and strategies and military code of Pakistan Armed Forces.[7] At present, the basic and mid-career level training of Marines is being conducted on a regular basis and apart from Marines training, courses of varied nature for Navy, Chief Petty Officers and sailors, civil organizations and foreign trainees are also conducted at the MTC.[7]

After passing the basic military training course, Some of the Marines are forwarded to the training establishments of Pakistan Army where they are trained together with the Pakistan Army Soldiers.,[2] the Marines are also sent to the army sponsored special weapons system schools, including specializing the operating the SAM missile systems, ordnance, and special security courses to protect naval bases on coastal areas.[2] The Marines formations and personnel wears the camouflage uniforms when deployed to an operational environment but otherwise they wear Navy dress uniforms in public and international ceremonies.


Marine Training Center is equipped with modern training aid facilities to facilitate the conduct of various basic and advance-level courses. Training aids include computer lab, library, gymnasium, assault course, watercrafts, models of weapons and instructional movies.

Commissioned officers rank[edit]

The order of hierarchy, commissioned and non-commissioned ranks structure of Marines are same and as equivalent of Pakistan Navy. There is no four-star rank in the Marines (the four-star admiral is the chief of naval staff and the highest admiral in the navy and marines), all unit formations of Marines directly report to the Commander Coast (COMCOAST) while the Marines staff is directed and headed by a Chief of Staff of Marines, a three-star admiral in the Navy.

Structure of the Commissioned officer rank of the Pakistan Navy
Pay grade O-11 O-10 O-9 O-8 O-7 O-6 O-5 O-4 O-3 O-2 O-1
Insignia US-O11 insignia.svg US-O10 insignia.svg US-O9 insignia.svg US-O8 insignia.svg US-O7 insignia.svg
Title Admiral of the fleet Admiral Vice-Admiral Rear-Admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant-Commander Lieutenant Sub-Lieutenant Midshipman
Abbreviation NE Adm VAdm RAdm Cdre Capt Cdr LCdr Lt SLt Mdshp
NATO Code OF-11 OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
Rank Hierarchy 5-star Admiral(War Time) 4-star Admiral 3-star Admiral 2-star Admiral 1-star Officer
Structure of the Chief Petty Officers
Pay grade cpo-1 cpo-2 cpo-3 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1 OR-1
Title Master Chief Petty Officer Fleet Chief Petty Officer Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer No equivalent Leading Rate No equivalent Able Seaman Tech-I Ordinary Rate Tech-II No equivalent
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1 OR-1

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e "Pakistan Marines". Pakistan Navy promotional video (Only available in Urdu). Pakistan Navy Directorate for Public Press Release. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  3. ^ (Iiss), The International Institute of Strategic Studies (2017-02-14). The Military Balance 2017. Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Incorporated. ISBN 9781857439007.
  4. ^ a b c PNS Qasim. "History". Pakistan Navy's Navy Inter-Services Public Relations (Naval ISPR). Navy Inter-Services Public Relations (Naval ISPR). Archived from the original on 4 July 2006. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Pakistan Marines (Globla "Pakistan Marines". Globla Pakistan Marines (Globla Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  6. ^ Amid the Pakistan floods: 'A village slowly drowning'
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Pns Qasim Archived 2006-07-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "PNS Qasim". Archived from the original on June 27, 2012. Retrieved 2010. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  9. ^ "Pakistan Navy commissions 3rd Pak Marines battalion at Gawadar". The News Tribe. 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2013-03-29.

External links[edit]