‘MILAN-2024’, a signature event for more reasons than one

Air power demonstration organised as part of the MILAN 2024 in Visakhapatnam

Air power demonstration organised as part of the MILAN 2024 in Visakhapatnam


  • MILAN-2024 saw participation of close to 51 navies from across the world
  • The 11th edition of MILAN-2022 witnessed participation of 39 foreign navies
  • With the growing complexity of the exercise and participation, MILAN has been shifted to Vizag

Visakhapatnam: Putting together ‘MILAN-2024’ in the present avatar and bringing more than 15 navies together from across the world speak volumes about India, Indian Navy and the friendship nurtured with foreign nations, opines Vice Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta (Retd), former Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of the Eastern Naval Command (ENC).

In an interview with The Hans India, the former C-In-C of the ENC mentions that since MILAN has expanded in its scope and participation over the editions, the naval leadership felt that the operational, administrative and logistics load could be better supported on the mainland. “This is one of the main reasons for shifting MILAN to Visakhapatnam. Also, the City of Destiny has been chosen as the preferred location as the ENC is headquartered here,” he reasons when he’s in the city to chair the third session of the International Maritime Seminar held as a part of the ongoing ‘MILAN-2024’.

The first 10 editions of MILAN were held in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. However, with growing complexity and increased participation of navies, the exercise has been hosted in Visakhapatnam under the aegis of Eastern Naval Command for the last two editions.

Even as the city possesses the wherewithal to host mega events, Vice Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta (Retd) says that Visakhapatnam has other added advantages too.

“The closeness of the port’s anchorage to the beachfront enables several activities that cannot be done hassle-free elsewhere. Also, the city is less crowded, cleaner, greener and tourism-friendly compared to the other cities wherein the Indian Navy has a large presence,” he elaborates.

Further, the former C-In-C of the ENC observes that the support to the command from the state government and district administration has always been forthcoming.

Laying emphasis on the ‘seas of prosperity’, the former C-In-C of the ENC stressed that the coming decades belong to the oceans and the blue economy is going to impact the wellbeing of populations across the world.

“About 80 percent of the global trade passes over the seas. Going forward, it is only going to expand further,” he shares.

Terming MILAN-2024 as a signature event for more reasons than one, he says, “As our stature and growth intensifies over the years, I think we have a larger role to play not just in the Indian Ocean Region but also as a larger maritime community. MILAN is just a manifestation of that.

Already, we are on the maritime map of the world and the increased participation of navies in the biennial exercise would further consolidate our position towards this direction.”

If there is any country that is capable of hosting and conducting a large-scale exercise, India is one of them, Vice Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta (Retd) mentions.

Referring to the participation of over 50 countries in MILAN-2024, Vice Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta (Retd) says that the Indian Navy made more and more friends around the world.

MILAN reflects the ability to bring friends on to a platform, talk the same language and build capabilities and interoperability to handle common challenges at sea. “What better forum than MILAN to start exchanging ideas and enhancing maritime awareness about how much better, peaceful and secure can we make our oceans?. An exercise of this magnitude is a reflection of our acceptability in the world community, confirmation of our professional abilities, logistics and administrative prowess to undertake a venture of this magnitude.” he adds.

With the participation of 39 foreign navies, the 11th edition of MILAN-2022 was held under the command of the former C-In-C of the ENC.

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