In a spectacular showcase of naval prowess, the 12th edition of the Multilateral Naval Exercise – 2024 (MILAN) is scheduled to take place in Visakhapatnam from February 19 to 27. This biennial event, initially launched by the Indian Navy in 1995, has evolved into a significant multilateral naval exercise. The upcoming MILAN is poised to be a historic gathering with the largest-ever participation, featuring over 50 countries and nearly 20 ships from friendly nations.
A final Planning Conference, conducted in a hybrid mode (virtual and in-person), recently took place in Visakhapatnam, presided over by the Chief of Staff Operations, @IN_HQENC, and attended by representatives from participating nations. The conference marked the meticulous planning and coordination essential for the success of such a massive naval exercise.
MILAN, born out of India’s ‘Look East Policy’ and subsequently expanded under the ‘Act East policy’ and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ (SAGAR) initiative, has become a cornerstone of international maritime cooperation. The exercise aims to foster collaboration and understanding among navies, emphasizing the importance of a collective approach to maritime security.
The harbor phase of MILAN 24 promises a diverse array of events, including an International Maritime Seminar, City Parade at RK Beach, Swavlamban Exhibition, Subject Matter Expert Exchange, and Milan of Young Officers. These activities will provide a platform for participants to share expertise, showcase capabilities, and strengthen diplomatic ties.
During the sea phase, ships, maritime patrol aircraft, and submarines from Friendly Foreign Countries will join Indian Navy units in a series of maneuvers. The Eastern seaboard in Visakhapatnam will witness the deployment of both Indian aircraft carriers, INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant, showcasing India’s naval strength and capability.
The exercises during MILAN 2024 will involve large-force maneuvers, advanced air defense operations, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface warfare operations, demonstrating the participating nations’ commitment to maintaining maritime security in the region.
The timing of MILAN aligns with India’s G20 Presidency, emphasizing the country’s commitment to fostering global cooperation. The exercise embodies the G20 theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – the world is one family, showcasing the shared responsibility of nations in ensuring maritime peace and stability.
The previous edition, MILAN 22, held at/off Visakhapatnam from February 25 to March 4, 2022, witnessed participation from 39 countries. As MILAN 2024 approaches, anticipation is building for an even more significant and impactful event that will undoubtedly contribute to strengthening international maritime partnerships.