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NORTHERN ARABIAN SEA - Sailors and Marines assigned to Nimitz Carrier Strike Group joined Australian, Indian, Japanese maritime forces for Phase II of Malabar 2020 in the Northern Arabian Sea, Nov. 17.
This year marks the 24th iteration of Exercise Malabar, which began in 1992, and will feature the Royal Australian Navy as they rejoin the exercise. The annual exercise advances the planning, integration, and employment of advanced warfare tactics between participating nations. This year’s exercise includes a variety of high-end tactical training designed to enhance interoperability between RAN, IN, JMSDF and U.S. maritime forces.
"Malabar is an important opportunity to demonstrate the strength of our strategic partnerships in a high-end exercise," said Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander, Carrier Strike Group 11. “The Nimitz Strike Group team is grateful to join our Australian, Indian, and Japanese partners and increase our readiness and interoperability."
“We look forward to phase two of the exercise as it will provide an opportunity for Ballarat to operate with modern, leading edge maritime capabilities,” said Australian Cmdr. Anthony Pisani, commanding officer, HMAS Ballarat. “Our changing maritime and security environment underscores the need to work with our close partners to advance our collective interests in a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” said Pisani.
“Ballarat’s participation in Exercise Malabar demonstrates Australia’s enduring commitment to contribute to the security, stability and prosperity of the region,” added Pisani.
Phase II includes a variety of high-end tactical training including night operations, Replenishment at Sea (RAS) approaches, and gunnery exercises (GUNEX).
“JS Murasame participated in the exercise on Nov.17, and we will further strengthen our partnership with those navies and contribute to maintaining regional peace and stability,” said Japanese Capt. Hirai Katsuhide, commander, Escort Division One. “I am sure that the multilateral exercise with Australia, India and the United States shows our strong will to maintaining and strengthening a Free and Open Indo-Pacific."
Malabar 2020 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises that has grown in scope and complexity over the years to address the variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Pacific where the U.S. Navy has patrolled for more than 70 years promoting regional peace and security.
Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is currently deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.