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Navy to host its largest exercise, Ex Milan in 2022


India is set to host its largest naval exercise, Ex Milan, early 2022 for which 46 countries have been invited according to a senior defence official.


Prelims, GS-III: Internal Security Challenges, GS-II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Milan (naval exercise)
  2. Organization and the Commands of the Indian Navy
  3. About recent developments in engagements of the Indian Navy

Milan (naval exercise)

  • Milan is a multilateral naval exercise hosted by the Indian Navy under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command.
  • The biennial event which started in 1995 features professional exercises and seminars, social events and sporting fixtures between participating nations.
  • The Navy has held 10 editions of the Milan exercise, with the theme of “synergy across the seas” to enhance professional interactions between friendly foreign navies and learn best practices from each other, since 1995.

Milan exercises in the past

  • The event has been held 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 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
  • The most recent edition of Milan was held at HQENC Visakhapatnam in 2018, as the 2020 edition of Milan (Over 40 countries were expected to participate in the exercise in 2020) was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organization and the Commands of the Indian Navy

  • While the President of India serves as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces, the organizational structure of Indian Navy is headed by the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), who holds the rank of Admiral.
  • The Indian Navy operates two operational commands and one training command.
    1. The Western Command is based at Mumbai – the fleet is commanded by the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet (FOCWF).
    2. The Eastern Command is based at Visakhapatnam – the fleet is commanded by the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet (FOCEF).
    3. The Southern Naval Command is home to the Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST).
    4. Additionally, the Andaman and Nicobar Command (Set up in 2001) is a unified Indian Navy, Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and Indian Coast Guard theater command based at the capital, Port Blair.

About recent developments in engagements of the Indian Navy

  • There has been huge increase in the Navy’s engagements in the Indo-Pacific with several countries keen on exercising with India.
  • There are several demands for trilaterals in the region which the Navy is prioritising considering its operational requirements and relationships with the countries.
  • In 2019, India, Thailand and Singapore began an annual trilateral and India is keen on the inclusion of Indonesia in it.
  • Over the last few years, India has signed a series of logistics support and white shipping agreements with a series of countries as part of efforts to improve the operational turnaround and improve logistics of the armed forces in the region and also improve Maritime Domain Awareness.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023