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Largest ever MILAN naval exercise will have frigates, destroyers and other ships participating; Know more

There will be MILAN of young officers, for mid-level specialist officers of countries participating with ships there will be subject Matter Expert Exchanges.

Besides the opening ceremony, there will be the inauguration of Milan Village on Feb 26, followed by a two days International Maritime Seminar from Feb 27-28 and the theme is ‘Harnessing Collective Maritime Competence through Collaboration’.
Besides the opening ceremony, there will be the inauguration of Milan Village on Feb 26, followed by a two days International Maritime Seminar from Feb 27-28 and the theme is ‘Harnessing Collective Maritime Competence through Collaboration’. (LOGO IMAGE CREDIT: Indian Navy)

For the first time almost 45 navies from across the globe are going to participate in Milan Exercise later this month.

The exercise which is being held for the first time on the mainland will be from Feb 25-March 04, 2022. The 11th edition of MILAN, expected to be conducted in the `City of Destiny’, Visakhapatnam, would provide an opportunity to celebrate  India’s 75th year of its Independence with friends and partners.

Why Visakhapatnam?

Since a large number of ships are expected for the MILAN, there is a need for a wider sea as well as more anchorage space.

What is the theme of Milan?

‘Camaraderie – Cohesion – Collaboration’. This theme of Milan exercise aims to promote collective responsibilities of maritime security for ensuring secure and safe seas.

What to look for?

Unlike the previous MILAN exercises where long range patrol ships and other ships of similar classes participated, this time and for the first time there will be destroyers and frigates present too.

Further enhancement of the `scope and complexity’ is the aim of this exercise and the focus is going to be drills at sea in surface, sub-surface and air domains including weapons firing.

This exercise will be in two phases – From Feb 25-28 will be the Harbour Phase and from March 1-4 will be the Sea Phase for countries participating with ships/ aircraft.

Who is participating?

As reported earlier, the Indian Navy invitation has been extended to 45 countries and the response so far has been good. According to the Indian Navy, delegations and warships of a large number of friendly countries are expected to participate. Also, foreign delegates including Chief of Navy or equivalent are expected to be present. 

Besides the opening ceremony, there will be the inauguration of Milan Village on Feb 26, followed by a two days International Maritime Seminar from Feb 27-28 and the theme is ‘Harnessing Collective Maritime Competence through Collaboration’.

On Feb 27, International City Parade in which there will be participation of foreign contingents.

There will be MILAN of young officers, for mid-level specialist officers of countries participating with ships there will be subject Matter Expert Exchanges.

There will also be a Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel demonstration.

Later in that week, cultural visits and city tours (to Agra and Bodh Gaya) for foreign visitors has been planned on Feb 28.

Sports Fixtures too are being planned.

History of MILAN

A biennial multilateral naval exercise was started by the Indian Navy in 1995 at Andaman and Nicobar Command.  Originally conceived in line with India’s `Look east Policy’ there were just four countries participating initially – Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

However over time it has transitioned leaps and bounds in terms of number of participants and complexity of exercises. MILAN has expanded over the years and in line with government’s ‘Act East policy’ and Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) initiative, there is participation of island nations in the Western Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as also IOR littorals.

What is the aim of the largest ever exercise?

Through professional interaction between friendly navies, to imbibe best practices and procedures, enable doctrinal learning in the maritime domain, and most importantly sharpen operational skills.

Also, such drills bring different navies together on a common platform.

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