June 8 (UPI) — The U.S. Navy is hosting forces from India and Japan for the annual exercise Malabar, June 7 through 16 off the coast of Guam. Naval ships, aircraft and personnel convened Thursday in the Philippine Sea.
It’s the first year Guam is hosting the event, in which participants practice surface and anti-submarine warfare operations, combined carrier strike group operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, as well as visit, board, search and seizure operations, the Navy said in a statement.
The Malabar began in 1992. The 22nd rendition of the exercise will feature both ashore and at-sea training.
The at-sea portions are designed to advance participating nations’ military-to-military coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations. At-sea events include liaison officer professional exchanges and embarks, a photo exercise, submarine familiarization, high-value unit and air defense exercises, medical evaluation drills, surface warfare exercises, communications exercises, search and rescue, helicopter cross-deck evolutions, underway replenishments, gunnery exercises, VBSS exercises and anti-submarine warfare.
U.S. ships in the at-sea phase include the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold and a P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
India is sending two ships, the multi-purpose stealth frigate INS Sahyadri and anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kamorta, as well as its fleet tanker INS Shakti.
Japan is sending Hyunga-class helicopter carrier JS Ise, Takanami-class destroyer JS Suzunami and Akizuki-class destroyer JS Fuyuzuki.
Naval forces from the three countries have an understanding and knowledge of a shared working environment at sea, and the exercises help advance the level of understanding between them.