India, Japan, US warships sail together in Philippine Sea

India, Japan, and United States navy warships have sailed together in Philippine Sea off the coast of Guam on June 14 as part of exercise Malabar 2018.

US Navy photo

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.

The US Navy said Malabar is designed to advance military-to-military coordination in a multinational environment between the US, Japan and Indian maritime forces.

The sea phase of Malabar 2018 was designed to advance participating nations’ military-to-military coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations in a multinational environment.

US Navy assets joining the trilateral naval exercise are aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) and a P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

Indian anti-submarine Kamorta-class stealth corvette INS Kamorta (P28), Shivalik-class stealth multi-role frigate INS Sahyadri (F49), Deepak-class fleet tanker INS Shakti (A57), and a Boeing P8i are joining for the Indian Navy.

US Navy photo

“Indian, Japanese and U.S. maritime forces have a common understanding and knowledge of a shared working environment at sea. Each iteration of this exercise helps to advance the level of understanding between the nations’ Sailors as members of Indo-Pacific nations, and the hope is to be able to continue this process over time to strengthen bonds and personal relationships,” the US Navy said.