Navy ships from various friendly countries have started arriving in the port city of Visakhapatnam for the biennial multilateral naval exercise - MILAN-2022.
MILAN will be conducted in two phases - the harbour phase between February 26-28 and the sea phase from March 1 to 4.
The scope of MILAN has been progressively expanded to include exercises at sea unlike the earlier editions where interactions between friendly foreign countries were predominantly harbour based, according to the Navy.
This is the 11th edition of MILAN which is being hosted by Visakhapatnam for the first time. According to the eastern naval command, MILAN includes exercises such as sea-manship drills, simulation of operational scenarios and tactical manoeuvres.
"Each event is aimed at honing the skills of our operators, maintainers, planners and executors across the full range of skill-sets, responsibilities and authority onboard a warship. MILAN-22 provides a platform for young officers to engage and learn onboard skills on ship-handling and damage control simulators," the eastern naval command said on Friday.
Ships from the USA, France, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Republic of South Korea have arrived. More from others are on the way.
MILAN will see participation of navies from 39 countries, as against 17 in the last edition held in 2018. The event could not be conducted in 2020 owing to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
A seminar on international maritime will be conducted on February 27. According to the Indian Navy, the seminar is for operational commanders to exchange ideas on common maritime priorities and challenges, and also on possible solutions.
A 'City Parade' on the Ramakrishna Beach Road in Visakhapatnam on the Sunday with marching contingents from the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, State Police, Sea Cadet Corps, Naval Cadet Corps, schools from the city and friendly foreign countries each showcasing their rich cultural heritage will be the major highlight of MILAN.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy will be the chief guest of the occasion.
A cultural programme with Tattoo Ceremony by Indian Naval Band, Hornpipe Dance by Cadets from Sea Cadet Corps and performance by artists and school children will lend extra color to the event.
The unique parade will be followed by illumination of ships in sea, culminating with a display of fireworks.