Apni Pathshala

MILAN Exercise

What’s in this Article?

Table of Contents

Why in the News?

  • Indian Navy’s largest-ever multilateral naval exercise – Milan 2024 – kicked off in Vizag city (Visakhapatnam).
  • Several warships from Indian Navy and foreign navies participating in the Harbour Phase of the event.
  • This prestigious 12th edition of the international naval exercise -MILAN- which held from Feb 19 to 27 with participation by over 50 countries, which are sending their delegations.

About “MILAN” Exercise

  • Milan Exercise is a multilateral Naval exercise led by Indian Navy since 1995.
  • Aim: To enhance professional interaction between friendly foreign navies and learn from each other’s strengths and best practices in the maritime domain.
  • In 1995 only four nations participated: Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia.
  • Since its inception, it has increased several folds in terms of the number of participants in the Exercise, the scale of complexity of exercises, etc.
  • Milan Exercise has been held every two years (biennial event), except for a few years like 2001, 05, 16, and 20, for various reasons.
  • The Milan Exercise is generally conducted at Andaman and Nicobar Command, but in 2022 it was decided to shift the event to Vishakhapatnam, the Headquarters of Eastern Naval Command, from 25 Feb – 04 Mar 22 and witnessed participation from 39 countries.

History of “MILAN” Exercise

  • In its initial iteration (first edition), only four nations were involved: Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia.
  • The participating naval forces aim to foster cooperation and coordination in areas of mutual concern, such as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Maritime Security, Anti-piracy operations, and showcasing military capabilities.
  • The Milan Exercise reflects India’s diplomatic principles established under the ‘Look East Policy,’ ‘Act East Policy,’ and ‘SAGAR (Security and Growth of All in the Region)’ initiative over the years.
  • Since its establishment in 1995, the exercise has expanded significantly, attracting participation from both regional and non-regional naval forces as well as island nations in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) include participation from other Friendly Foreign Countries (FFCs).

SAGAR initiative

    • Introduced in 2015, SAGAR (Security and Growth of All in the Region) represents an Indian foreign policy principle designed to bolster collaboration and foster mutual confidence among India and its neighboring nations, with a particular focus on the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
    • This doctrine (SAGAR policy) encompasses various elements, such as safeguarding maritime security, fostering sustainable development and economic progress, and reinforcing cultural and interpersonal connections among countries.

Significance of “MILAN” Exercise

Expansion of the Navy’s Engagements:

  • This highlights the Navy’s rising prominence as a favored security ally and primary responder in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • Through mission-oriented deployments and various operational involvements, the Indian Navy’s presence and operational capabilities in the region have consistently expanded.
  • The Exercise imparts essential operational skills and optimal practices to the participating navies, fostering doctrinal learning within the maritime sphere.
  • This has facilitated the Indian Navy’s professional collaboration with allied and similar-minded navies across the Indo-Pacific region, enhancing India’s awareness of maritime activities.
  • Aligned with India’s ‘Look East Policy,’ ‘Act East Policy,’ and ‘SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region)’ initiative, this Exercise has led to the signing of numerous White Shipping and Logistics Support Agreements with various nations, bolstering interoperability and cooperative operations.
  • Emphasizing freedom of navigation, it ensures the accessibility of crucial sea lanes.
  • By uniting navies from friendly nations, there’s a concerted effort to counter China’s increasing influence in the Indo-Pacific.
  • There remains potential for further expansion in both scale and scope of this Exercise.

Key highlights of “Milan-2024″ Exercise

  • ‘MILAN-2024’ is the 12th edition of Multilateral Naval Exercise scheduled from 19-27 Feb 24 at/off Visakhapatnam, ‘the City of Destiny’, under the aegis of Eastern Naval Command.
  • Theme: The MILAN 2024 Logo symbolizes the theme of the exercise ‘Camaraderie Cohesion Collaboration’, which has been highlighted and inscribed in the Logo.
  • Aim: The central aim of MILAN 2024 is to enhance professional interaction between friendly navies and gain experience in multilateral large force operations at sea.
  • Participating Countries: MILAN, from a regional event, has metamorphosed into a prestigious maritime exercise with participation by about 58 friendly foreign countries across continents in MILAN 2024.
  • Indian Navy ships, aircraft and submarines led by Indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant and 20-25 Foreign Naval Units will participate in large force manoeuvres advanced air defence operations, Anti Submarine warfare, Anti Surface warfare operation and War at Sea.
  • Phases of Exercise:
    • The Harbour Phase of MILAN 2024 is from 19 – 23 Feb 2024 and provides a platform for participating navies to discuss Maritime subjects of common interest and share solutions.
    • The Harbour Phase also had Table Top Exercise,Interactions of Young Officers , Outstation Cultural visits and International International City Parade.
  • The Sea Phase was conducted from 24- 27 Feb 24.
    • The professional interactions and conferences planned during this phase build the operational tempo for the Sea Phase held from 24-27 Feb 2024.
    • This phase is aimed towards building upon the experience of multilateral forces operating together at sea.

List of editions:

S. No.

Year

Participants

1.

1995

Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand

2.

1997

Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand

3.

1999

Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand

4.

2001

Not held due to the International Fleet Review 2001

5.

2003

Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand

6.

2006

Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand

7.

2008

Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand

8.

2010

Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand

9.

2012

Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam

10.

2014

Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Kenya, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam

11.

2016

Not held due to the International Fleet Review 2016.

12.

2018

Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam

13.

2020

Not held due to COVID-19 restrictions

14.

2022

Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Egypt, Fiji, France, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand , Togo, UAE, UK, USA, Vietnam

15.

2024

Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Comoros, Djibouti, European Union, Egypt, Eritrea, Fiji, France, Gabon, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor Leste, UAE, UK, USA, Vietnam, Yemen

Conclusion:

  • Originating as a component of India’s ‘Look East Policy’ in 1995, the Milan Exercise has expanded significantly in both scope and impact.
  • Evolving into a significant biennial gathering, it serves as a platform for numerous allied navies worldwide.
  • The exercise facilitates preparedness for collective endeavors such as humanitarian aid, anti-piracy efforts, maritime security, and the protection of navigation freedoms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

1. How many countries participated in the MILAN-24’ exercise?
Ans: Starting from just 4 countries in 1995, has metamorphosed into a prestigious maritime exercise with participation by about 58 friendly foreign countries across continents in MILAN-2024.

2. Who hosted the Milan exercise of 2024?
Ans: MILAN-2024 is the 12th edition of Multilateral Naval Exercise hosted from 19-27 Feb 24 at/off Visakhapatnam, ‘the City of Destiny’, under the aegis of Eastern Naval Command.

3. What is the theme of the Milan Exercise?
Ans: The Theme of the Milan Exercise is ‘Camaraderie-Cohesion-Collaboration.’

  • The theme revolves around professional interaction, interoperability, and multilateral operations among like-minded navies of the world.

4. What is the background of the Milan Exercise?
The Indian Navy initiated the Milan Exercise in 1995 within the Andaman and Nicobar command.

  • Initially, only four nations took part: Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia.

Disclaimer: The article may contain information pertaining to prior academic years; for further information, visit the exam’s official or concerned website.

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