Vijayawada: About four years after successfully hosting the International Fleet Review, Vizag is gearing up to host another high profile international naval event ‘Milan’.
The Indian Navy is planning to organise ‘Milan’ in March 2020 and expects over 20 nations to participate in the Naval exercise off Vizag coast.
Till now, the biennial international naval exercise was being held off Andaman and Nicobar coast and hosted by the Andaman and Nicobar Command of Indian Navy. It will be, for the first time, held on the east coast and hosted by Eastern Naval Command.
Thus far, invites have been sent to 41 friendly nations seeking participation of their navies in ‘Milan’.
Milan was first held in 1995 and has been biennially except for 2001, 2005, and 2016. The 2001 and 2016 editions were not held because of the International Fleet Review, while the 2005 event was postponed to 2006 due to the 2004 earthquake and tsunami.
Apart from the Indian Navy, navies of Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand participated in the inaugural edition.
Seventeen nations, including India, participated in Milan-2014 making it the biggest edition of the event ever. The most recent edition of Milan was held at Port Blair from March 6-13 2018 in which 16 nations participated.
“It was only harbour exercises that used to happen during Milan. However in the last exercise in 2018, sea exercises were also included. So this time in Vizag, both sea and harbour exercises will be held. We are expecting more than 20 nations to participate. After IFR 2016 Milan is another big mega high profile international event the Eastern naval Command (ENC) having headquarters at Vizag is going to host,” said a senior official of the Indian Navy.
Vizag hosted India’s second IFR and the first on the Indian east coast from February 4 to 9 in 2016. More than 50 countries participated in the historic event held over four days. While Pakistan was not invited for the event, China sent its two ships.
Ships from countries like Myanmar, Oman, Bangladesh, China, the USA, Australia, Mauritius, UK, Vietnam, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and other friendly nations took part in the IFR....