Friend­ship Across the Seas - MI­LAN 2018

From an event of sub-re­gional con­text, MI­LAN has now grown into a pres­ti­gious in­ter­na­tional event and en­com­passes par­tic­i­pa­tion by mar­itime forces from not just the Bay of Ben­gal and south east Asia but the larger In­dian ocean re­gion

SP's NavalForces - - FRONT PAGE - REAR AD­MI­RAL SUSHIL RAM­SAY (RETD)

From an event of sub-re­gional con­text, MI­LAN has now grown into a pres­ti­gious in­ter­na­tional event and en­com­passes par­tic­i­pa­tion by mar­itime forces from not just the Bay of Ben­gal and South East Asia but the larger In­dian Ocean re­gion.

Rear Ad­mi­ral Sushil Ram­say (Retd)

MI­LAN 2018, A MeGA bi­en­nial mar­itime event was con­ducted in the sec­ond week of March 2018 un­der the aegis of An­daman & Ni­co­bar Com­mand. the tra­di­tional multi-na­tional con­gre­ga­tion of the lit­toral navies is con­ducted by the In­dian Navy at the An­daman & Ni­co­bar Is­lands. since its in­cep­tion the pri­mary ob­jec­tives of MI­LAN have been to fos­ter co­op­er­a­tion through naval ex­er­cises and pro­fes­sional in­ter­ac­tions. It also pro­vides an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to the par­tic­i­pat­ing navies to come to­gether in a spirit of col­lab­o­ra­tion and mu­tual un­der­stand­ing to nur­ture stronger ties and in­cul­cate the con­cept of mu­tual trust and in­ter-op­er­abil­ity.

Mod­est be­gin­nings of MI­LAN in­ter­ac­tions go back more than two decades when it was first con­ducted dur­ing 1995. The first edi­tion saw par­tic­i­pa­tion of only four lit­toral navies. the event achieved stri­dent suc­cess dur­ing the en­su­ing years ow­ing to high stan­dards of pro­fes­sional con­tent of the event. the grow­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion over the years bears tes­ti­mony to the suc­cess of this mul­ti­lat­eral ini­tia­tive. from an event of sub- re­gional con­text, MI­LAN has now grown into a pres­ti­gious in­ter­na­tional event and en­com­passes par­tic­i­pa­tion by mar­itime forces from not just the Bay of Ben­gal and south east Asia but the larger In­dian ocean re­gion.

MI­LAN 2018 was held at port Blair from March 6 to 13, 2018. In con­so­nance with its orig­i­nal doc­trine, the theme ‘friend­ship across the seas’ was ap­pro­pri­ately cho­sen for MI­LAN 2018. As was cus­tom­ary MI­LAN 2018 wit­nessed a di­verse mix of pro­fes­sional ex­er­cises and sem­i­nars, so­cial events and sport­ing fix­tures. The in­ter­ac­tions dur­ing MI­LAN en­com­pass shar­ing of views and ideas on mar­itime good — order and en­hanc­ing re­gional co­op­er­a­tion for com­bat­ing un­law­ful ac­tiv­i­ties at sea. the theme for MI­LAN 2018 In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime sem­i­nar was ‘In pursuit of Mar­itime Good order — Need for Com­pre­hen­sive In­for­ma­tion shar­ing Ap­pa­ra­tus’. the in­au­gu­ral ad­dress was de­liv­ered by Ad­mi­ral sunil Lanba, Chair­man Chiefs of staff Com­mit­tee and the Chief of the Naval staff, be­sides pre­sen­ta­tions by em­i­nent speak­ers. the so­cial in­ter­ac­tions planned dur­ing MI­LAN 2018 in­cluded dis­play by Bands of the In­dian Navy and In­dian Army, ship vis­its and colour­ful cul­tural evenings. sev­eral events of MI­LAN 2018 were open to the pub­lic in­clud­ing dis­plays by sky div­ing team, Beat­ing the re­treat and Naval con­ti­nu­ity drill.

An In­ter­na­tional City pa­rade was held along the Ma­rina park road, port Blair with march­ing con­tin­gents from all par­tic­i­pat­ing for­eign naval ships as well as the In­dian Armed forces. the pa­rade in­cluded a fly­past and aer­o­batic dis­play by mil­i­tary air­craft and demon­stra­tions of var­i­ous mil­i­tary oper­a­tions. Be­sides, vis­it­ing for­eign ships were open for vis­its by school chil­dren and lo­cal pub­lic. MI­LAN 2018 cul­mi­nated with pas­sage ex­er­cise at sea by all par­tic­i­pat­ing naval ships. MI­LAN 2018 show­cased the rich heritage and pris­tine nat­u­ral beauty of the An­daman and Ni­co­bar Is­lands to the for­eign visi­tors.

Mal­dives Is­lands and MI­LAN 2018

MI­LAN 2018 was at­tended by as many as 16 navy del­e­ga­tions from Indo-Pa­cific lit­toral coun­tries, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia, Malaysia, New Zealand Myan­mar and Mau­ri­tius. Mal­dives, one of the In­dian Navy’s close mar­itime part­ners, has been a reg­u­lar par­tic­i­pant at MI­LAN in the past. how­ever, since its in­cep­tion this was the first in­stance that Mal­dives de­clined the In­vi­ta­tion ex­tended by the In­dian Navy to at­tend MI­LAN 2018.

While de­clin­ing to send a del­e­ga­tion, Mal­dives as­signed no rea­son to boy­cott MI­LAN 2018. It is an open se­cret that Mal­dives un­der its present regime has grad­u­ally drifted deeper into China’s vice like grip. the in­ter­nal sit­u­a­tion in Mal­dives has com­pounded due to se­vere rift and un­cer­tain do­mes­tic po­lit­i­cal im­broglio and the power tus­sle. Con­se­quently, pro-China pres­i­dent, Ab­dulla yameen, had im­posed emer­gency and im­pris­oned top op­po­si­tion lead­ers, who are largely pro-In­dia. the 45-day state of emer­gency was lifted by pres­i­dent Ab­dulla yameen on March 22, 2018, with a procla­ma­tion to levy bribery charges on for­mer pres­i­dent Mau­moon Ab­dul Gay­oom, Chief Jus­tice Ab­dulla saeed, supreme Court Judge, Ali hameed and supreme Court Ad­min­is­tra­tor, has­san say­eed.

De­spite the in­ter­nal po­lit­i­cal tur­moil naval ties be­tween the two navies are in­tact. As is usual a num­ber of Mal­di­vian Navy cadets re­ported for train­ing with the In­dian Navy’s 1st train­ing squadron. 1st train­ing squadron trains In­dian and for­eign cadets on six ships – In­dian Naval ships tir, su­jata and shardul; In­dian Coast Guard ship Varuna, and two sail train­ing ships – su­darshini and tarangini. over the last four decades, the 1st train­ing squadron has trained more than 13,000 cadets from over 40 coun­tries, in­clud­ing many from the Mal­dives. In its 24 week-long train­ing cap­sule, navy and coast guard cadets learn how to op­er­ate war­ships and are ex­posed to the rigours of life at sea – “earn­ing their sea legs”, in naval par­lance.

PHO­TO­GRAPHS: In­dian Navy

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