Exercise Milan – 2024: Multinational naval drills conclude with grand ceremony on INS Vikrant

Team India Sentinels Tuesday 27th of February 2024 11:41 PM

The commanding officers of participating units from the Indian Navy and the navies of 18 foreign friendly countries pose on INS Vikrant during the Milan – 2024 closing ceremony. (Photo: Indian Navy)

Visakhapatnam: The Indian Navy’s multilateral exercise, Milan – 2024, culminated in a grand ceremony onboard the indigenously built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, on Tuesday. This year’s edition of the event witnessed the participation of 35 naval units, including ships, submarines, and aircraft, from a diverse range of 18 friendly foreign countries.

The closing ceremony marked the successful completion of a two-week-long exercise that saw participants engage in a series of complex and advanced drills. These drills encompassed diverse maritime operations, ranging from surface, sub-surface, and air warfare to addressing asymmetric threats like piracy and terrorism. The exercises aimed to foster interoperability, enhance maritime cooperation, and promote understanding between participating nations.

One noteworthy aspect of the closing ceremony was the unique gathering of commanding officers from all participating units onboard INS Vikrant. This platform facilitated discussions and exchange of experiences, further strengthening the bonds between participating navies.

All participating ships in Milan – 2024 sailing in a formation. India’s two aircraft carriers, INS Vikramaditya (R) and INS Vikrant (L), can be seen leading the formation from two flanks. Also seen is an Indian Navy Dornier-228 flying ahead of the formation. (Photo: Indian Navy) 

Speaking at the ceremony, the Indian Navy chief, Admiral Radhakrishnan Hari Kumar, emphasized the significance of Exercise Milan as a key maritime platform for collaboration and collective learning. He highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts in maintaining a safe and secure maritime environment.

Stressing the strategic importance of the exercise in the current geopolitical landscape, Adm Kumar said, “Milan, with its focus on cooperative maritime security, reflects our shared commitment to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.”

The exercise witnessed the participation of several notable regional players, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Additionally, countries from Africa, Europe, and the Americas also sent representatives, showcasing the global reach and significance of this multinational exercise.

Warships seen participating in a drill during the sea phase of Milan – 2024. (Photo: Indian Navy)

A key highlight of the exercise was the demonstration of advanced naval capabilities by participating nations. This included showcasing the latest technology and equipment used in maritime operations, fostering knowledge exchange, and promoting best practices among the participating navies.

Exercise Milan – 2024 served as a vital platform for strengthening existing partnerships and forging new collaborations between the Indian Navy and its international counterparts. The exercise not only showcased the growing prowess of the Indian Navy but also reaffirmed its commitment to fostering a peaceful and stable maritime environment in the region and beyond.

Warships seen participating in a drill during the sea phase of Milan – 2024. (Photo: Indian Navy)

Positive effect on Vizag

There has also been a positive impact of Exercise Milan – 2024 on the host city, Visakhapatnam – the Eastern Naval Command’s headquarters. The presence of a large contingent of international military personnel and officials provided a significant economic boost to the city, with reports of increased tourism and business activity.

Additionally, the cultural exchange opportunities fostered between personnel from different nations further enriched the experience for both participants and locals.

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