Malabar 2018 underway off Guam

Ships, submarines and aircraft from Japan, US and India have kicked off the 22nd edition of the now trilateral naval exercise Malabar.

Official US Navy file photo of a formation of ships from the Indian navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the US Navy during Malabar 2017.

The exercise runs from June 7 through June 16.

Malabar 2018 is the first time the exercise has been conducted off the coast of Guam, and the latest in a continuing series of exercises that began in 1992.

The exercise will feature both ashore and at-sea training. 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.

The at-sea portions will be conducted in the Philippine Sea and are designed to advance participating nations’ military-to-military coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations in a multinational environment.

Events planned during the at-sea portions include liaison officer professional exchanges and embarks, a photo exercise, submarine familiarization, high-value unit and 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.

Participants from the US Navy in the at-sea phase of the exercise include the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) and a P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

Japan has sent helicopter carrier JS Ise, Takanami-class destroyer JS Suzunami and Akizuki class destroyer JS Fuyuzuki. Indian ships taking part in the drill include frigate INS Sahyadri, corvette INS Kamorta and tanker INS Shakti

Japan and the US will be further represented by a submarine each.