The ninth and the largest edition of the Milan series of naval engagements which saw theparticipation of 16 foreign navies drew to a close on Sunday with the Commander-in-Chief of the joint services Andaman and Nicobar Command Air Marshal P.K. Roy taking salute from aboard the naval offshore patrol vessel INS Saryu as 14 ships, including nine foreign naval vessels, steamed past in a passage exercise.
The exercise, said a naval spokesperson, gave a glimpse into the level of engagement the Indian Navy had with friendly navies and helped revalidate communication procedures and standard operating procedures for interoperability among ships of participating navies.
While delegations and foreign warships departed Port Blair, UMS King Aungzeya and UMS Anawrahta of the Myanmar Navy returned to Port Blair's Haddo Wharf for a few days' work-up [training to optimise operational capabilities of the ships' crew] with assistance from the Indian Navy.
Indian naval sources said the work-up would be followed by a coordinated patrol of the international maritime boundary line [IMBL] near the Coco Islands by Indian and Myanmar naval ships. "The second edition of the India-Myanmar Corpat will see vessels from both sides patrolling the area against poaching, human trafficking and other unlawful activities," sources said.
In all, six ships of the Indian Navy took part in PASSEX. INS Saryu, a new generation patrol vessel which was commissioned last year and deployed into the Gulf of Aden on anti-piracy patrol soon after, was the lead ship. The vessel is now gearing up for its first crew changeover in the next two months.