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India preparing to kick off its largest naval wargame Milan 2022

Ships from the Indian Navy, Royal Australian Navy, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force approach USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) during Malabar 2020. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Markus Castaneda/U.S. Navy)
January 05, 2022

Preparation for India’s largest naval wargame has begun in the Indian Ocean.

India has invited 46 friendly foreign nations to participate in the multinational naval exercise Milan in Visakhapatnam, slated to begin February 25.

This year’s iteration of the exercise will be established on the theme of camaraderie, cohesion, and collaboration. The Indian Ocean Region will be the prime waters of this exercise.

The countries that have been extended invitations for participation include Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Israel, Iran, France, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, and many more through the list. 

The United States is expected to be participating for the first time in this exercise. This exercise could be bigger than the famed RIMPAC exercise hosted annually by the U.S. Navy.

To canonize the upcoming event, Eastern Naval Command Chief Staff Officer (Technical) Rear Admiral Sanjay Sadhu launched an official website for the Milan-2022 exercise on Tuesday. In complete regards to the grandeur nature of this drill, the website was solely created to focus the entire events.

Initiated in 1995, Exercise Milan is held biennially and conducted with friendly navies. Earlier, it was being held at Port Blair of Andaman Island, but this time it has been shifted to Visakhapatnam. Global naval forces around the world come together to promote and protect freedom of navigation led by the Indian Navy.

Two years ago in 2020, 41 countries were invited to participate in the exercise, and 30 of them confirmed their participation, but the exercise was ultimately canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide.

In 2018, navies of 17 countries had participated in this exercise.

The Milan 2022 exercise will begin with the Harbour Phase from Feb. 25 to Feb. 28 in which participating navies discuss maritime topics of common concern and share solutions. The professional competitions and conferences planned during this phase shall build the operational sync for the Sea Phase planned from March 1 to March 4. The next phase will be factored in to consolidate upon the lessons learned during harbor interactions and to build upon the experience of operating together at sea.

The interoperability of navies at such a grand scale will experiment profoundly during the course of this multilateral exercise.

India has increased its naval engagements with friendly nations at bilateral, trilateral, and multilateral levels since 2018.