Union Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt along with Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar releases a Special Day Cover on MILAN exercises during the opening ceremony of the harbour phase of the biennial Multilateral Naval Exercise, MILAN 22 at the Naval Auditorium inside Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. (DC photo)
Visakhapatnam: The biennial multilateral naval exercise Milan 22 was inaugurated by the Union minister of state for defence Ajay Bhatt at the naval auditorium here on Saturday.
The event was attended by Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar, ambassadors, high commissioners and chiefs of navies, delegation heads of participating countries and commanding officers and crew of all participating ships.
A special day cover and a movie on Milan, India’s largest Naval exercise, were released on the occasion.
The eleventh edition of Milan is being hosted by the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam for the first time. All the earlier editions were held at Port Blair, under the aegis of the Tri-Service Andaman and Nicobar Command.
Participation from friendly foreign countries included 13 ships, 39 delegations and one maritime patrol aircraft.
This large congregation adds significance to the word ‘Milan’, which in Hindi translates to ‘meeting’ or ‘confluence’. The exercise endeavours to promote ‘camaraderie, cohesion, collaboration’ among like-minded navies.
The harbour phase of the exercise, which began on Saturday, will culminate on February 28, followed by the sea phase from March 1 to March 4.
This edition of Milan is larger and more complex than all the earlier ones, reflecting India’s growing stature as a responsible and reliable partner in maritime domain, underscoring Indian Navy’s commitment to maritime security across the global commons.
As a part of the harbour phase, a Milan village has been set up at the Tarang Naval Institute. It provides a glimpse of Indian culture to visitors, as it showcases Indian handicrafts, cuisine and arts, especially from Andhra Pradesh. The village will also provide a venue for social interaction and cultural exchange between the participating navies.