India, U.S. Japan Holding Joint Maritime Exercise Off Guam

Jun 8, 2018 — Indian and Japanese ships, aircraft and personnel have joined the U.S. Navy for a week-long maritime exercise Malabar 2018, which is being held offshore Guam for the first time in its 22 year history.

The U.S. Navy is hosting forces from India and Japan for the annual exercise Malabar, June 7 through 16. Naval ships, aircraft and personnel convened Thursday in the Philippine Sea.

Last year the Malabar Exercise (Indo-US bilateral exercise joined by Japan in 2007) was held in the Indian ocean off the eastern seaboard of India.

Guam is a major United States Naval Base in the Western Pacific some 2300 miles southeast of North Korea and nearly 1200 miles east of the contested South China Sea.

Participants will 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, report UPI citing a US Navy statement.

India has dispatched about 900 soldiers along with 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 has sent about 700 members of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force along with Hyunga-class helicopter carrier JS Ise, Takanami-class destroyer JS Suzunami and Akizuki-class destroyer JS Fuyuzuki.

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.

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