VISAKHAPATNAM: The port city should shine again on the world map as it will host two major naval exercises. The stage is set for the highly anticipated International Fleet Review Monday and the Multinational Naval Exercise (MILAN) from February 25 to March 4.
This is the third President’s Fleet Review (PFR) at Vizag. The first took place in 2006 and the second in 2016. President Ram Nath Kovind, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces, will on Monday review the naval fleet comprising more than 60 ships and submarines and 55 aircraft.
This is the 12th PFR, which has special significance as it takes place on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, celebrated as Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. INS Sumitra, a locally designed and built Saryu-class patrol vessel, will serve as the presidential yacht and lead the presidential column.
47 out of 60 ships, submarines for PFR built in India
Ships from all naval commands and the Andaman and Nicobar Command were anchored in four columns for the PFR. The presidential yacht will sail past 44 ships anchored on four lanes and receive the ceremonial salute, one by one.
No less than 47 of the 60 ships and submarines participating in the PFR were built in Indian shipyards. Each ship dressed in all its regalia will salute the President as it passes.
The President will also review the Indian Naval Air Arm in a spectacular parade of several helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. In the final phase of the PFR, a mobile column of warships and submarines will pass the presidential yacht.
Several exciting waterfront activities including parade of sails, sea search and rescue demonstration, Hawk plane aerobatics and aquatic parachute jumping by the elite Marine Commandos (MARCOS) will be part of the PFR .
A special first day cover and commemorative stamp will be issued by the President in the presence of Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of State for Communications Devusinh J Chauhan. The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar reviewed the entire preparations for the PFR.
MILAN 2022 from February 25
More than 45 countries have been invited for MILAN 2022. More than 15 foreign warships and aircraft, 11 naval chiefs, coastguards and more than 120 delegates will take part in the naval exercise. The City Parade on February 27 will be the highlight of MILAN. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will be the chief guest of the event.
There will be a carnival showcasing local culture and art forms. Stalls of Etikoppaka toys, Ponduru Khadi, looms and handicrafts will be set up. Local cuisine stalls will also be set up. More than two lakh people are expected to attend the parade. Stands have been erected all along the beach road in the city. The port phase of MILAN will be held from February 25 to March 3.