Aiming to strengthen cooperation among the navies in the region, Indian Navy will host 14 of its counterparts from South East Asia, Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region (IOR) for the eighth edition of the Milan exercise in Andaman and Nicobar Islands starting Wednesday.
The five-day exercise will see the participation of Seychelles and Mauritius for the first time in the event where nine countries, including India, will field their warships, Navy officials said in New Delhi.
During the exercise, the Navies will aim to enhance their inter-operability and the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in case there is a need to operate together in the event of a natural disaster or a tsunami-like situation, they said.
14 countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Brunei, Malaysia, Maldives, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore along with the two newcomers will take part in this exercise, they said.
Of the 13 participants who came last year, only Vietnam would be missing this year.
A seminar with the theme 'Capacity-building through mutual cooperation' would also be held during the five-day event.
From the Indian side, the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) will be the host for the event and will field its various warships, including INS Kesari fleet tanker.
The first Milan exercise was held in 1995 and since then has been held after every two years except 2011 and 2005.