An Indian Navy-hosted multinational naval exercise at Port Blair off the coast of Andaman and Nicobar islands has been successfully concluded with a passage exercise at sea.

The five-day exercise codenamed Milan 2010 aimed to building mutual confidence and interoperability between the navies of the Asia-Pacific region.

A total of 12 navies across the South East Asia, including Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar, with representatives from the navies of Brunei, Philippines, Vietnam and New Zealand participated in the exercise.

In addition, the naval exercise was intended to promote understanding and cooperation in the areas of common interest and safeguard sea lanes of communication from poaching, piracy and terrorist activities, as well as engage in joint search and rescue and humanitarian operations.

INS Kesari commander Captain Sunil Kumar said the exercise allowed them to streamline communication procedures so that if India has to operate in the future the first and foremost thing will be communication interoperability followed by mutual understanding.

The Indian Navy fielded five ships including its largest landing ship tank, INS Kesari and a fast attack craft during Exercise Milan.

Milan 2010 is the seventh iteration of the series, which began in 1995.