BAY OF BENGAL – Maritime forces from Australia, India, Japan, and the United States are now concluding their Phase II of Exercise MALABAR 2021 in the Bay of Bengal.
Chief of the Indian Naval Staff, Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), U.S. Navy, Admiral Michael Gilday embarked on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during the ongoing second phase.
This is the 25th edition of the naval exercise, which began as a bilateral exercise between India and the U.S. in 1992, the US Navy said in a despatch.
The U.S. Navy hosted this year’s annual maritime exercise which includes a variety of highend tactical training, including specific interactions that are designed to enhance interoperability between the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Indian Navy (IN), Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and U.S. maritime forces in the Pacific Ocean.
“This visit Adminral Karambir Singh to the Carl Vinson during Malabar was an important opportunity to see first-hand the integration between our two navies at-sea,” Adm Gilday said.
The U.S. Navy said a team of 12 senior Indian Navy officers was hosted aboard the carrier after they flew in on a helicopter.
“Exercise Malabar is a showcase example of defense collaboration between our four partnering countries, demonstrating what we can accomplish when we work together to advance our common interests in the Indo-Pacific,” US Chargé d’Affaires in India Patricia Lacina, who was also part of the visit, said.
The first phase of MALABAR, which began in August, included maritime operations, anti-submarine warfare operations, air warfare operations, live-fire gunnery events, replenishments-at-sea, cross-deck flight operations, and maritime interdiction operations in the Philippine Sea.
It was pointed out that planning and executing multinational exercises in two phases allows participating nations to operate and train in two different regions of the Indo-Pacific.
The second phase consisted of surface and air expendable mobile anti-submarine warfare training target exercise (EMATTEX), cross-deck helicopter operations, surface gunnery exercise, and replenishments-at-sea.
The intent is to enhance integrated maritime operations between the Quad countries within the Indian Ocean Region. U.S. Navy participants for phase two included Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, consisting of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70); Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2; Ticonderogaclass guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57); Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106); and a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
Representing the Indian Navy is Rajput-class guidedmissile destroyer INS Ranvijay (D55), Shivalik-class multi-role stealth frigate INS Satpura (F48), and a P-8I maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
JMSDF participants included Izumo-class multipurpose operation destroyer JS Kaga (DDH 184), Murasame-class destroyers JS Murasame (DD 101). Royal Australian Navy participants included Anzac-class frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) and HMAS Sirius (O 266).