Multi-nation exercise Milan concludes successfully in Andaman

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Port Blair, Feb 8 (ANI): The multination naval exercise hosted by the Indian Navy at Andaman and Nicobar islands with an aim to build mutual confidence between the navies of the Asia Pacific region successfully concluded with a passage exercise at sea on Monday.

The seventh edition of exercise Milan was held within the context of the Indian Navy's "Look East" policy and naval interactions to this effect. The 2010 edition of the exercise took place from February 4-8 atof the coast of Port Blair.

The naval officer in-charge of the Andaman and Nicobar command, Commodore P Suresh, took the salute from naval ships of different countries during the passage exercise.

Commenting on the successful conclusion of Milan, Commodore P Suresh said: "The achievement of Milan is that our navy is capable of hosting an event of this nature, building friendship across the seas and to obtain more interoperability."

The focus of Milan 2010 was to promote understanding and cooperation in the areas of common interest and safeguard sea lanes of communication from poaching, piracy and terrorist activities, promote interoperability to the extent possible and engage in joint search and rescue and humanitarian operations.

"The significance of the passage exercise is that it allows us to streamline communication procedures so that in future if we have to operate together the first and foremost thing is communication interoperability followed by mutual understanding," said Captain Sunil Kumar, commander of INS Kesari.

Naval ships of Singapore (two ships), Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar, with representatives from navies of Brunei, Philippines, Vietnam and New Zealand participated in Exercise Milan.

The Indian Navy was represented by INS Kesari, the largest Landing Ship Tank, a Fast Attack Craft and other ships in Exercise Milan.

So far six Milans have been held, in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2006 and 2008. The event was not conducted in 2001 and 2005 as, in 2001, the Indian Navy was hosting a significant international event -the International Fleet Review and in 2005, the region was recovering from the after effects of the Tsunami of 26 Dec 2004. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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