Japan, India, US begin naval exercise in Philippine Sea

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Naval forces from India, Japan, and United States today started exercise Malabar 2018 which will be conducted off the coast of Guam. Malabar 2018 will run through June 16.

“The at-sea portions will be conducted in the Philippine Sea and are designed to advance participating nations’ military-to-military coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations in a multinational environment,” 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.

“Events planned during the at-sea portions include liaison officer professional exchanges and embarks, a photo exercise, submarine familiarization, high-value unit and air defense exercises, medical evacuation drills, surface warfare exercises, communications exercises, search and rescue exercises; helicopter cross-deck evolutions, underway replenishments, gunnery exercises, VBSS exercises and anti-submarine warfare,” the US Navy said.

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.

“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.

Source: http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news.aspx/130337; https://twitter.com/indiannavy/status/1004633919390560256