Maritime Exercises Current Affairs - 2019
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The MILES-18, first-ever multi-nation naval exercise at sea was held at the Andaman sea. The three days exercise was conducted as part of 10th edition of MILAN 2018.
Milan 2018, a multi-national mega event was organised by Andaman Nicobar naval command with theme ‘Friendship Across the Seas’ to expand regional cooperation and combat unlawful activities in critical sea lanes.
11 naval ships of 8 countries (Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand) and nine Indian ships had participated in MILES-18. It was aimed to enhance inter-operability between participating countries. It also had enabled honing of search and rescue operations procedures, maritime interdiction operations, core operational skills and exercise and variety of maritime security scenarios.
Milan exercise was first held in 1995 with participation of just five navies. Its aim was to have effective forum to discuss common concerns in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and forge deeper cooperation among friendly navies. The exercise is being hosted biennially by Indian Navy under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command.
Tri-service maritime exercise Paschim Lehar conducted by Indian Navy concluded off western coast in Arabian Sea. The objective of the exercise was to build interoperability between Indian Navy, Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Coast Guard.
The three-week long exercise tested operational readiness of Indian Navy’s Western Command and execution of its operational plans, logistics and administrative plans. Over 40 naval assets including aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, frontline ships of Western Fleet and Eastern Fleet, including newly-inducted Kolkata class ones, submarines, potent missile vessels of 22nd Killer Squadron, patrol vessels and craft of local flotilla and Coast Guard participated in the exercise
The exercise also witnessed intense flying activity by carrier-borne Mig29K, P-8I, IL-38SDs, Dorniers and Remotely Piloted Aircraft. It also witnessed enhanced participation by Indian Air Force (IAF) planes, in coordinated flying missions with Indian Navy’s air assets.
Maritime role Jaguars, Su-30 MKI, AWACS and Flight Refuellers participated in large numbers from different airfields in Gujarat, Maharashtra and North India. Moreover, amphibious landing exercise was also conducted, which included participation of the 91 Infantry Brigade of Indian Army.
The exercise enabled testing and revalidation of operational plans and manoeuvres in a hostile maritime scenario on India’s Western seaboard. It also rehearsed defence of Indian offshore assets like oil rigs, escort operations of merchant ships and coastal defence.