40 nations join forces in Indian Navy-led exercise MILAN 2022
The Indian Navy-led multinational exercise MILAN 2022 started on 25 February in the Bay of Bengal, according to the navy’s officials.
As informed, the drill will be conducted over a duration of nine days in two phases with the harbor phase scheduled from 25 to 28 February and the sea phase from 1 to 4 March. The theme of this year’s drill is ‘Camaraderie – Cohesion – Collaboration’.
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 the Indian Navy in 1995 at Andaman and Nicobar Command.
Starting with the participation of only four countries, 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. Participation increased from six regional countries to 18 countries in 2014 which included IOR littorals.
This year, the exercise will witness its largest-ever participation, with more than 40 countries sending their warships/ high level delegations.
“This edition of MILAN would be larger in ‘scope and complexity’ with focus on exercises at sea including exercises in surface, sub-surface and air domains and weapon firings,” the navy officials noted.
This year also marks the first time the US Navy has participated in the exercise.
US Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA), from Patrol Squadron (VP) 47, joined with ships, aircraft and personnel from India and numerous other navies.
“Milan provides an opportunity for like-minded navies that sharing a common vision of a more stable, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific, to operate and train alongside one another,” said Cmdr. David Catterall, commanding officer, USS Fitzgerald.
“We are grateful for India’s hosting this important event and their efforts to harmonize our contributions to the region, and look forward to ensuring future engagements to build strong alliances and partnerships.”
Exercise MILAN includes forces from Australia, Bangladesh, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.
The last multinational exercise the US participated in is the Indian Ocean was MALABAR 2021.