Presidential Fleet Review and Milan in February 2022

A flotilla of about 50 ships to participate in the event

If there is no major threat from the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, the Eastern Naval Command will host the Presidential Fleet Review (PFR) and Milan as per the schedule in February 2022.

Addressing the annual press conference on the eve of the Navy Day, here on Friday, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command Biswajit Dasgupta said this would be the second PFR being hosted by the ENC, scheduled for February 21, 2022.

A flotilla of about 50 ships, comprising those from the Indian Navy, the Indian Coast Guard and merchant vessels would participate in the fleet review. This apart, about 50 naval aircraft would perform a flypast for the President.

Last time the PFR was held by the ENC was in 2006, when Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was President.

Speaking about Milan, Vice Admiral Dasgupta said it would begin on February 25 and invitations had been sent to about 45 friendly foreign navies, and over 20 had confirmed their participation. The exercise would have a number of components, including a city march on the Beach Road, followed by on-sea exercises. Stalls woud be set up and there was a plan to host a defence expo during the meet, he said.

Referring to a question on whether invitations had been sent to Pakistan and China, he said ‘No’.

Navy Day is celebrated on December 4 every year to commemorate the decisive victory at sea in the 1971 conflict. But for the second year on the trot, this year also the week-long celebrations would be low key, keeping the COVID-19 pandemic in mind.

“We will not have any operations demo, as done every year at RK Beach, and the illumination of ships will be decided based on the weather conditions with the impending threat of Cyclone Jawad,” the ENC chief said.

Vice Admiral Dasgupta pointed out that despite the ongoing pandemic, ENC had been maintaining its operational capability and readiness and had actively participated in a number of HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) operations.

“We have not only jumped into action to save lives and provide assistance during natural calamities along the coast on the eastern seaboard, but ships from ENC had played a major role in the Samudra Setu operation to evacuate people from other countries after COVID pandemic hit the world. Our ships also assisted the government in bringing in relief material, that includes about 300 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen and oxygen concentrators,” he said.

Though coastal security and safeguarding our maritime interest is our main focus, the Eastern Fleet had reached a number of friendly shores and conducted multi-country exercises such as Malabar to enhance the ‘look east policy,” said Vice Admiral Dasgupta.

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