New Delhi, February 23
On Friday begins one of the biggest naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal with Quad members India, US, Australia and Japan among 16 nations sending their ships for the drill. In all, 40 nations are expected to join in, others participating in the first phase of the exercise and sending in high-level delegations for interaction among participants.
The exercise “Milan 2022” is scheduled in two phases. The four-day first phase starts February 25 and the sea phase is from March 1 to 4.
- First such multi-nation drill since the start of military stand-off in eastern Ladakh
- Also first such exercise since Quad laid down its co-op agenda on the Indo-Pacific
The exercise is conducted once every two years and the one in 2020 was cancelled due to Covid. The exercise, which started two decades ago, used to be conducted in Andaman Nicobar islands. As the space for berthing of warships at the islands is limited, the venue was shifted to Visakhapatnam on east coast.
This edition of ‘Milan’ would be larger in “scope and complexity” with focus on exercises at sea, including use of air power and weapon firing. The theme of the exercise this year 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 maritime domain through professional interaction between friendly navies.