The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) HMAS Childers has arrived in Darwin after participating in Milan 2014, the biannual international naval event hosted by the Indian Navy in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from February 5-9, 2014.
Milan 2014 was designed to increase maritime cooperation, interoperability and mutual understanding among navies of the Indian Ocean region.
Key activities included a sea passage exercise, an international maritime seminar on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), a celebration of 50 years of the Indian Navy in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and cultural exchange activities.
The RAN Commander Mine Warfare Patrol Boat Group, Captain Bob Plath, said Milan 2014 was an effective forum to discuss common concerns in the Indian Ocean region such as regional security, prosperity and HADR.
“It enabled navy people from many Indian Ocean nations the opportunity to interact on both a professional and personal level. The discussions reinforced the fundamentally united approach many nations wish to take,” Capt. Plath said. “Australia and India’s shared interest in prosperity and regional stability form a solid basis for engagements such as Milan 2014.
“Our navies regularly interact through port visits and annual passage exercises. Australia also has a long-standing commitment to India’s Milan series, having attended either as an observer or participant since 2003.
“Australia sees India as a key security partner in the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific region. We believe it is important to continue active engagement; including, as part of existing multilateral security structure,” he said.
Australia will host the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium in Perth, Western Australia, in March with Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Griggs assuming the Chairmanship.
During the transit to Milan 14, HMAS Childers conducted port visits to Singapore and in historic firsts to Yangoon, Myanmar and Chittagong, Bangladesh.