US, India and Japan kick off Malabar 2016

Naval ships, aircraft and personnel from India, Japan and the United States started the annual exercise Malabar 2016, June 9 in Sasebo, Japan.

The harbour phase will be taking place in Sasebo until June 13 and the sea phase will have participants conducting drills in the Philippine Sea from June 14 to 17.

Participants from the U.S. Navy include Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis with embarked Carrier Air Wing 9, guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay and guided-missile destroyers USS Stockdale, USS William P. Lawrence and USS Chung-Hoon; a P-8A Poseidon aircraft; and a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine.

Indian Navy ships taking part in the drill are the indigenously built guided missile frigates INS Sahyadri and INS Satpura, INS Shakti, a modern fleet tanker and support ship and INS Kirch, a guided missile corvette.

The JMSDF will be represented by JS Hyuga, a helicopter carrier with SH 60 K integral helicopters and Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft, and other warships deployed for specific parts of the exercise.

The exercise will feature both ashore and at-sea training. While ashore in Sasebo, 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, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), helicopter operations, and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations.

The at-sea portions of the exercise will be conducted in the Philippine Sea and include submarine familiarization, high-value unit defense, 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.