CHENNAI, India (April 7, 2012) The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) prepares to anchors off the coast of Chennai for a port visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dean M. Cates)

CHENNAI, India - Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 Sailors anchored off the coast of Chennai, India, April 7 for a scheduled port visit as part of Exercise Malabar 2012.

CSG-1, commanded by Rear Adm. Thomas K. Shannon, consists of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97).

Exercise Malabar is a regularly scheduled bi-lateral naval exercise designed to advance the U.S.-Indian military coordination and ability to plan and execute tactical operations. The exercise series will encompass approximately 450 nautical miles of sea and air space in the Bay of Bengal.

The exercise will feature both ashore and at-sea training. During the port visit, CSG-1 personnel will attend various pre-sail seminars in Chennai covering topics ranging from air defense and integrated anti-submarine warfare operations to carrier aviation operations and counter-piracy operations.

Cmdr. Peter Yelle, the air operations officer and exercise coordinator for CSG-1, identified the numerous personnel exchanges between the U.S. and Indian ships as a benefit Exercise Malabar provides, and said they are conducive to its success.

“It offers a multicultural interface. We’ll be able to talk [about] how we do things and vice versa. We’ll be able to share information,” he said. “India is a huge strategic partner in this region.”

Events planned for the exercise include liaison officer exchanges and embarks, communications exercises, surface action group operations, helicopter cross-deck evolutions and gunnery exercises.