Maritime forces from Australia, India, Japan, and the United States began Phase II of Exercise MALABAR 2021 in the Bay of Bengal, Oct. 11.
The U.S. Navy hosted this year’s annual maritime exercise which includes a variety of high-end tactical training, including specific interactions that are designed to enhance interoperability between the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Indian Navy (IN), Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and U.S. maritime forces.
The first phase of MALABAR, which began in August, included maritime operations, anti-submarine warfare operations, air warfare operations, live-fire gunnery events, replenishments-at-sea, cross-deck flight operations, and maritime interdiction operations in the Philippine Sea.
The current phase is being conducted in the Bay of Bengal. Planning and executing multinational exercises in two phases allow participating nations to operate and train in two different regions of the Indo-Pacific.
The second phase will consist of surface and air expendable mobile anti-submarine warfare training target exercise (EMATTEX), cross-deck helicopter operations, surface gunnery exercise, and replenishments-at-sea. The intent is to enhance integrated maritime operations between the Quad countries within the Indian Ocean Region.
“MALABAR 21 improves the compatibility of our forces in support of our mutual desire for unmatched maritime security in the global commons,” said Rear. Adm. Dan Martin, commander, Carrier Strike Group 1. “Unit integration during complex task group maneuvers further demonstrates our ability to effectively work with our Indo-Pacific allies and partners and win in any contested maritime environment.”
Elements of the Royal Australian, Indian, Japanese, and American maritime forces routinely operate together in the Indo-Pacific, fostering a cooperative approach toward regional security and stability.
“The participation of HMA Ships Ballarat and Sirius in MALABAR Phase II builds our collective ability to meet shared challenges in pursuit of an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific,” said Cmdr. Antony Pisani, commanding officer HMAS Ballarat. “Close cooperation with key partners with India, Japan, and the United States fosters our professional mariner relationships and enhance our interoperability.”
U.S. Navy participants for phase two included Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, consisting of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70); Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2; Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57); Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106); and a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
Representing the Indian Navy is Rajput-class guided-missile destroyer INS Ranvijay (D55), Shivalik-class multi-role stealth frigate INS Satpura (F48), and a P-8I maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
JMSDF participants included Izumo-class multipurpose operation destroyer JS Kaga (DDH 184), Murasame-class destroyers JS Murasame (DD 101).
Royal Australian Navy participants included Anzac-class frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) and HMAS Sirius (O 266).
Under Commander, U. S. Pacific Fleet, 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Image credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Craig Z. Rodarte. In this file photo, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86) transits the Bay of Bengal during Malabar 2017. Malabar 2017 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises between the Indian Navy, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and U.S. Navy that has grown in scope and complexity over the years to address the variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific.