The MILES-18, first-ever multi-nation naval exercise at sea was held at the Andaman Sea. The three days exercise was conducted as part of the 10th edition of MILAN 2018. MILES roughly means ‘Milan Exercise at Sea’.
Here are a few points about this exercise:
- MILAN 2018 is a multi-national mega event that was organised by Andaman and Nicobar Command with theme ‘Friendship Across the Seas’.
- This was the first ever eight-day long multi-national naval exercise at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- The motive of the exercise was to expand regional cooperation and combat unlawful activities in critical sea lanes.
- 23 countries participated in the exercise in the backdrop of state of emergencies in two of India’s maritime neighbours, and China’s growing assertiveness in the region.
- The Maldives has declined India’s offer to participate in the exercise citing the current situation in the island nation.
- It was aimed to enhance interoperability between participating countries. It also had enabled honing of search and rescue operations procedures, maritime interdiction operations, core operational skills and exercise and variety of maritime security scenarios.
- About 28 warships participated in the exercise. 11 of these naval ships were of 8 countries – Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand) and 11 ships of ANC and 6 ships of the Eastern Fleet was pooled in by India.
- Milan exercise was first held in 1995 with the participation of just five navies. Its aim was to have an effective forum to discuss common concerns in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and forge deeper cooperation among friendly navies. The exercise is being hosted biennially by Indian Navy under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command.
- This edition witnessed the largest gathering since its inception in 1995, with a participation of 39 delegates from 16 countries.
History of Exercise MILAN:
Exercise MILAN was first held in 1995 with five participating nations; India, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The aim of the initiative was to have an effective forum to discuss common concerns in the Indian Ocean Region and forge deeper cooperation among friendly navies.
Since 1995, the exercise was conducted bi-annually except in 2001, 2005 and 2016.
MILAN has evolved from an initiative of the Indian Navy in the early nineties which aimed to create a forum for the littoral navies of the region to exchange thoughts in the area of maritime cooperation and ‘Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief’ (HADR).
‘MILAN’ is an initiative of the Indian Navy which was started in 1995. It is a biennial gathering of navies of the Indian Ocean region and is held for building friendship and mutual understanding between participating navies. MILAN is the Hindi word for ‘Tryst’ or ‘Meeting’ which found encouraging response over the years. MILAN has been an effective forum to discuss common concerns in the Indian Ocean Region and also help forge co-operation initiatives.
MILAN is an effective platform for social, cultural and professional interactions and promoting camaraderie, maritime cooperation and inter-operability during humanitarian missions. The event is hosted by the beautiful Andaman & Nicobar Islands home to India’s unified Military Command, the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC).
MILES in Pics: