India, Japan, US to hold naval warfare training in Philippine Sea

Naval forces from India, Japan, and United States are set to hold exercise Malabar 2018 which will feature both ashore and at-sea training off the coast of Guam in the Philippine Sea in mid-summer 2018, the US Navy said.

Philippine Sea is bordered by the Philippine archipelago (Luzon, Catanduanes, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao) on the southwest; Halmahera, Morotai, Palau, Yap, and Ulithi (of the Carolines) on the southeast; the Marianas, including Guam, Saipan, and Tinian, on the east; the Bonin and Iwo Jima on the northeast; the Japanese islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyūshū on the north; the Ryukyu Islands on the northwest; and Taiwan in the west.

According to US Navy, Malabar’s 2018 edition will be the first time to be conducted off the coast of Guam, and 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.

“Training will focus on high-end warfighting skillsets, subject matter expert and professional exchanges, combined carrier strike group operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, surface and anti-submarine warfare, medical operations, damage control, helicopter operations and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations,” it added.

Ships from the US and Indian navies, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force steam in formation during Malabar 2014. US Navy photo