Indian, US, Japanese maritime forces begin Malabar exercise

Santa Rita (Guam), June 8: Naval ships, aircraft and personnel from India, Japan and the US have begun exercise Malabar 2018 during which they will practice surface and anti-submarine warfare operations and combined carrier strike group operations off the coast of Guam island in the western Pacific. The June 7-16 wargame — first after the US renamed its Hawaii-based Pacific command as the Indo-Pacific Command — is being held amid incrased Chinese activities of building artificial islands in the South China Sea and sending submarines into the Indian Ocean. Malabar will be done in two phases: ashore and at-sea training. The harbour phrase will occur at Naval Base Guam from June 7 to 10 and the sea phase from June 11 to 16 in the Philippine Sea. Guam island was a theatre of an intense World War II when US forces stormed in to take it from the Japanese.

While ashore in Guam, training will include subject matter expert and professional exchanges on 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, according to a US Navy statement. The at-sea part will see military-to-military coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations in a multinational environment. (IANS)