INDIA. Mumbai: The latest edition of the Indian Navy’s Multi-National Exercise Milan-2022 will commence on February 25 in the ‘City of Destiny,’ Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
MILAN-2022 will be conducted over nine days in two phases, with the harbor phase from February 25 to February 28 and Sea Phase from March 01 to March 04. The theme of the MILAN 2022 task is ‘Camaraderie – Cohesion –Collaboration,’ which aims to project India as an accountable maritime power to the world at large.
While India acknowledges the 75th year of its independence, the MILAN 22 provides an opportunity to commensurate this milestone with our friends and partners. The exercise aims to sharpen operational skills, absorb best practices and methods, and grant doctrinal learning in the maritime domain through professional interaction between friendly navies, an Indian Navy statement here said.
Significant events planned during MILAN 22 include an opening ceremony followed by the inauguration of MILAN Village on February 26. An Operation Demonstration will be followed by International City Parade on February 27, with the participation of foreign contingents. An international seminar with the theme – ‘Harnessing Collective Maritime Competence through Collaboration’ will be organized on February 27 and 28. Other activities include professional/subject matter expert exchanges, Deep-Sea Rescue Vessel (DSRV) demonstrations, sports fixtures, cultural visits to Agra(Uttar Pradesh), and Bodh Gaya (Bihar) for foreign visitors.
MILAN 2022 will have the most participants ever, with more than 40 countries sending warships/high-level delegations. The scope and complexity of this edition of MILAN would be expanded, with a focus on exercises at sea, including activities in the surface, subsurface, and air domains, as well as weapon firings. Operational conferences and seminars are also held, allowing participating navies/delegations to express their views on maritime security. The high-level naval leadership, agency heads, Ambassadors, and equivalent will be high-profile foreign delegates.
MILAN is a biennial multilateral naval exercise incepted by the Indian Navy in 1995 at Andaman and Nicobar Command. The event was held biennially except in 2001, 2005, 2016, and 2020. The 2001 and 2016 editions were canceled due to International Fleet Reviews. The 2005 edition was postponed to 2006 due to the 2004 Tsunami. Similarly, the 2020 edition of MILAN was delayed due to COVID-19.
Beginning with the participation of only four countries, viz Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, in1995, the exercise has since transitioned leaps and bounds in terms of the number of participants and complexity of activities. Initially conceived by India’s ‘Look East Policy,’ MILAN expanded in ensuing years with the Government of India’s ‘Act East policy and Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) initiative, to include participation from island nations in the Western Indian Ocean Region(IOR) as also IOR littorals.
The participation increased from six regional countries to 18 countries in 2014, including IOR littorals. With the Indian Navy’s engagement with friendly foreign countries expanding over the decades, a need was felt to further consolidate the naval cooperation by enhancing the scale and complexity of the MILAN exercise and engaging both regional and extra-regional navies of the world. The IN statement added that MILAN 22 would provide an invaluable opportunity to foster bonds of maritime brotherhood across the oceans.
Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be participating in a multi-nation air exercise titled ‘Ex Cobra Warrior 22’ to be held at Waddington, the United Kingdom, from March 06 to March 27.
Five Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas flew to the UK on Wednesday, along with IAF’s C-17 transport aircraft, which will provide the necessary transport support for induction and de-induction of Tejas and will ferry maintenance crew and ground equipment.
Other Air Forces taking part in the drill include fighter jets from Sweden –` Gripen’ fighters, Belgium’s F-16 fighters. Saudi Arabia will be sending Typhoons and Tornado fighters, an IAF statement said.
The exercise “Ex-Cobra” aims to provide operational exposure and share best practices amongst the participating Air Forces, thereby enhancing combat capability and forging bonds of friendship. “Ex-Cobra” is one of the most extensive exercises of the Royal Air Force, in which training is imparted to pilots in planning and executing air-borne missions. The training is the final step for those seeking to qualify as Qualified Weapons Instructors (QWI), Qualified Multi-engine Tactics Instructors, QWI Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and the Qualified Space Instructors Course.
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