Indian Navy To Host Multinational Naval Exercise Milan 2018
Indian Navy will host its biennial multinational naval event, Exercise MILAN 2018 at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands from March 6 to 13, 2018.
MILAN is a congregation of littoral navies conducted biennially by Indian Navy at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANS), the first and only Tri-service theater command of the Indian Armed Forces.
The countries which are participating in the eight-day mega exercise include Australia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Vietnam, Thailand, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya and Cambodia.
The aim of the exercise is to expand regional cooperation and combat unlawful activities in critical sea lanes. “The interactions during Milan encompass sharing of views and ideas on maritime good order and enhancing regional cooperation for combating unlawful activities at sea,” Capt D K Sharma, the Spokesperson of Indian Navy, was quoted as saying.
“Besides fostering co-operation through naval exercises and professional interactions, MILAN also provides an excellent opportunity to the participating navies to come together in a spirit of collaboration and mutual understanding to nurture stronger ties”, Indian Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
The exercise is being conducted amid China’s growing military posturing in the Indo-Pacific region and according to some officials, the issue is likely to figure during deliberations among navy chiefs of the participating countries at the event.
The first edition of Exercise MILAN was held in 1995, more than two decades ago and it saw the participation of four littoral navies.
The growing participation over the years bears testimony to the success of this multilateral initiative. From an event of sub-regional context, MILAN has now grown into a prestigious international event and encompasses participation by maritime forces from not just the Bay of Bengal and South East Asia but the larger Indian Ocean Region (lOR).
Exercise MILAN 2018 Events
With the underlying theme of ‘Friendship Across the Seas’, Exercise MILAN 2018 will witness a diverse mix of professional exercises and seminars, social events and sporting fixtures. The interactions during MILAN encompass sharing of views and ideas on maritime good – order and enhancing regional cooperation for combating unlawful activities at sea.
The theme of this year’s MILAN International Maritime Seminar is ‘In Pursuit of Maritime Good Order – Need for Comprehensive Information Sharing Apparatus’ is being organised.
The inaugural address will be delivered by Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) and Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), besides presentations by eminent speakers.
The social interactions planned during MILAN 2018 include display by bands of the Indian Navy and Indian Army, ship visits and colorful cultural evenings. Several events of MILAN 2018 will be open to the public including displays by sky diving team, beating the retreat and Naval continuity drill.
An International City Parade will be held along the Marina Park Road, with marching contingents from all participating foreign naval ships as well as the Indian Armed Forces. The parade will include a flypast and aerobatic display by military aircraft and demonstrations of various military operations. Besides, visiting foreign ships will also be open for visits by school children and local public. MILAN 2018 will culminate with Passage Exercise at sea by all participating naval ships.
According to the Indian MOD statement, MILAN 2018 aims to showcase the rich heritage and pristine natural beauty of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the foreign visitors.