- The latest edition of Indian Navy’s multilateral exercise MILAN 2022 is scheduled to commence from 25 Feb 22 in the ‘City of Destiny’, Visakhapatnam.
- MILAN 22 is being conducted over a duration of 9 days in two phases with the harbour phase scheduled from 25 to 28 February and Sea Phase from 01 to 04 March.
- India is celebrating the 75th year of its independence in 2022, and MILAN 22 provides an opportunity to commemorate this milestone with our friends and partners.
- The theme of the MILAN 2022 exercise is ‘Camaraderie – Cohesion – Collaboration’which aims to project India as a responsible maritime power to the world at large.
- The aim of the exercise is to hone operational skills, imbibe best practices and procedures, and enable doctrinal learning in the maritime domain, through professional interaction between friendly navies.
- MILAN is a biennial multilateral naval exercise incepted by Indian Navy in 1995 at Andaman and Nicobar Command.
- Since its inception, the event has been held biennially except for 2001, 2005, 2016 and 2020. While the 2001 and 2016 editions were not held due to International Fleet Reviews, the 2005 editions was rescheduled to 2006 due to the 2004 Tsunami. 2020 edition of MILAN was postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19.
- Starting with the participation of only four countries, viz Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand, in the 1995 edition, the exercise has since transitioned leaps and bounds in terms of number of participants and complexity of exercises.
- Originally conceived in consonance with India’s ‘Look East Policy’, MILAN expanded in ensuing years with the GOI’s ‘Act East policy’ and Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) initiative, to include participation from island nations in the Western IOR as also IOR littorals.
- Participation increased from six regional countries to 18 countries in 2014 which included IOR littorals.
- With Indian Navy’s engagement with Friendly Foreign Countries (FFCs) 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.
- Considering the infrastructure requirements of a large naval gathering, it was decided to shift the event to mainland, and Visakhapatnam, being the Headquarters of Eastern Naval Command, was nominated to host the event.
Source The Hindu