Joint military exercises are conducted by nations with a view to furthering cooperation and interoperability among their militaries. India also conducts several joint military exercises with many countries. This is an important topic for the UPSC International Relations segment. In this article, you can learn all about the Milan Exercise for the IAS exam.
Get a list of bilateral exercises of the Indian Army in the link.
What is Milan Exercise?
‘Milan’ is a biennial multilateral naval exercise hosted by the Indian Navy.
Milan Exercise Origins:
- The biennial multilateral naval exercise was started by the Indian Navy in 1995 at the 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 the number of participants and the complexity of exercises.
- MILAN has expanded over the years and in line with the government’s ‘Act East Policy’ and the ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ (SAGAR) initiative, there is the participation of island nations in the Western Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as also IOR littorals.
Exercise Milan 2022
The Indian Navy will host its biggest maritime exercise, involving at least 35 countries, from February 26 to March 4 off the coast of Visakhapatnam, which will include anti-submarine warfare drills for the first time.
- The exercise was supposed to take place in 2020 as it’s a biennial event but was called off due to Covid-19. In 2020, invitations were sent to 41 countries. It was decided that the exercise would take place in 2022 since it also coincides with the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.
- The exercise aims to hone operational skills, instil best practices and procedures, and enable doctrinal learning in the maritime domain through professional interaction between friendly navies.
- The theme of the Milan exercise is ‘Camaraderie–Cohesion–Collaboration’, which aims to promote collective responsibilities of maritime security for ensuring safe and secure seas.
- For the first time, the exercise is being held in Visakhapatnam instead of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, where it has been held since 1995.
- Visakhapatnam has been chosen as the venue this year because of the scale of the exercise, since more ships will be participating, which meant that more anchorage space, as well as a wider sea, is needed for exercise.
The exercise is divided into two phases:
- The harbour phase (February 26-28), and
- The sea phase (March 1-4).
Series of events:
- 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 the participation of foreign contingents.
- 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 have been planned for 28th February.
- Sports Fixtures too are being planned.
- According to the Indian Navy, delegations and warships of a large number of friendly countries are expected to participate. Also, foreign delegates including the Chief of Navy or equivalent are expected to be present.
- The Indian Navy invitation has been extended to 45 countries and the response so far has been good.
India is conducting the biggest exercise since 1995. It is expected that it will bring some positive outcomes.
Exercise Milan 2018
The previous edition of Ex MILAN was held in 2018 in which the navies of 16 foreign countries took part.
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