Malabar Maritime Exercise Kicks Off
SASEBO, Japan - Naval forces from India, Japan and the United States are participating in exercise Malabar 2014, July 24 - 30.
Malabar is a complex, high-end warfighting exercise that has grown in scope and complexity over the years. Malabar 2014 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises conducted to advance multinational maritime relationships and mutual security issues.
The exercise will feature both ashore and at-sea training. While ashore in Sasebo, training will include subject matter expert and professional exchanges on carrier strike group operations; maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations; anti-piracy operations; and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations.
"The United States, India and Japan hold common values and seafaring traditions, making our navies natural partners," said Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet. "We believe that building maritime partnerships through exercises like Malabar fosters security and stability in the entire Indo-Asia Pacific region."
Participants from the U.S. Navy include the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) with embarked carrier Air Wing 5; the guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67); the guided-missile destroyers USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USS Stethem (DDG 63) and USS Pinckney (DDG 91); along with a a P-3C Orion aircraft.
The at-sea portions will be conducted in the waters south of Japan. They are designed to advance participating nations mil-to-mil coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations in a multi-national environment.
"This [Malabar 2014] will certainly advance professional interaction and understanding between our Sailors and help us to achieve better synergy to tackle common maritime challenges," said Indian Navy Rear Adm. A. K. Jain, flag officer commanding, Eastern Fleet. "This will also help us to take naval cooperation between the U.S., Japan and India to a new level."
Events planned during the at-sea portions include liaison officer professional exchanges and embarks; communications exercises; search and rescue exercises; helicopter evolutions; underway replenishments; gunnery exercises; VBSS; and anti-submarine warfare exercises.
"Throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans the U.S. 7th Fleet and its allies, Japan and partner India, maintain a consistent presence; it's absolutely critical that we train together and build our maritime partnership and understanding," said Capt. Shan M. Byrne, commander of Destroyer Squadron 15. "Exercises like Malabar continue to help maintain and strengthen stability and security in the Asian Pacific and Indian Ocean region."
Malabar is a yearly exercise between the Indian and U.S. navies and has been going on since 1992, featuring the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force on three separate occasions.