China standoff in background, India, US, Japan start Malabar naval exercise
The US, Japanese and Indian navies today began the Malabar Naval Exercise-2017 aimed at achieving deeper military ties between the three nations.
Taking part in the trilateral naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal would be US Ship Nimitz (CVN68), guided missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG59), guided missile destroyers USS Howard (DDG83), USS Shoup (DDG86) and USS Kidd (DDG100), a Poseidon P-8A aircraft as well as a Los Angeles class fast-attack submarine.
Besides, Japan Maritime Self Defence Force ships JS Izumo (DDH 183), JS Sazanami (DD1 13) along with Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa and INS Vikramaditya would participate in the joint naval exercise, an official press release said. The 21st edition of the exercise, conducted ashore and at-sea, would include professional exchanges on carrier strike group operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, surface and anti-submarine warfare.
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Medical operations, damage control, explosive ordinance disposal, helicopter operations and anti-submarine warfare would also take place.
The at-sea exercise includes events such as submarine familiarisation, air defence exercises, medical evacuation drills, surface ware fare exercises, communication exercise and search and rescue operations. Indian, Japanese and US maritime forces have an understanding and knowledge of shared working environment at sea. As members of Indo-Asia Pacific operations, the three maritime forces would look forward to continuing to strengthen the bonds and personal relationships, a press release said. The Malabar exercise is taking place amid the military standoff between armies of the India and China in the Sikkim section and Beijing ramping up its naval presence in South China sea.