Warships from the Quad countries, France, Myanmar, South Korea, and Vietnam, among others, will gather in Visakhapatnam later this week for the largest multinational exercise Milan, hosted by the Indian Navy, amid rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia. The drill is being conducted without ships by Russia, Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, among others.
The drill, which will take place from February 25 to March 4, will involve ships from around 15 countries and will involve around 42 countries. The United States will take part in the drill for the first time.
The subject of the MILAN 2022 exercise is ‘Camaraderie, Cohesion, and Collaboration,’ with the purpose of projecting India as a responsible maritime force to the rest of the world,’ according to a statement released by the Navy on Wednesday.”By engaging in professional interaction with friendly navies, the exercise intends to polish operational abilities, internalise best practises and procedures, and improve doctrinal learning in the marine environment.”
According to the Navy, the inauguration of the Milan village will take place on February 26 at the inaugural ceremony, followed by an International City Parade with foreign contingents the next day. According to the press release, the activities will include an International Maritime Seminar, professional and subject matter expert exchanges, and a display of a Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV).
All Indian Ocean littoral states, as well as countries from Southeast Asia, are invited. From February 25 to February 28, the harbour phase will take place, while the sea phase will take place from March 1 to March 4.
The exercise began in 1995 with four countries — Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand — and has since grown in terms of the number of participants and the complexity of the exercises. According to the Navy, involvement rose from six regional countries to 18 countries in 2014, including IOR littorals. It was previously held in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar, but has now been relocated to Visakhapatnam, which provides better infrastructure and sea area for the exercise.
With the Indian Navy’s engagement with friendly foreign countries growing over the decades, the need to further consolidate naval cooperation was felt, according to the statement, by increasing the scale and complexity of the Milan exercise and involving both regional and extraregional navies around the world