After the first portion of the major naval maneuver Malabar 2021 concluded off Guam, ships and other assets from Australia, India, Japan, and the United States began the second phase of the exercise in the Bay of Bengal.
The US Navy hosted this year’s annual maritime exercise which includes a variety of high-end tactical training, including specific interactions that are designed to enhance interoperability between the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Indian Navy (IN), Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and US maritime forces.
The first phase of Malabar, which began in August, included maritime operations, anti-submarine warfare operations, air warfare operations, live-fire gunnery events, replenishments-at-sea, cross-deck flight operations, and maritime interdiction operations in the Philippine Sea.
The current phase, which started October 11, is being conducted in the Bay of Bengal. The US Navy said the drill was divided in two phases to allow participating nations to operate and train in two different regions of the Indo-Pacific.
The second phase will consist of surface and air expendable mobile anti-submarine warfare training target exercise (EMATTEX), cross-deck helicopter operations, surface gunnery exercise, and replenishments-at-sea. The intent is to enhance integrated maritime operations between the Quad countries within the Indian Ocean Region.
“Malabar 21 improves the compatibility of our forces in support of our mutual desire for unmatched maritime security in the global commons,” said Rear. Adm. Dan Martin, commander, Carrier Strike Group 1. “Unit integration during complex task group maneuvers further demonstrates our ability to effectively work with our Indo-Pacific allies and partners and win in any contested maritime environment.”
“The participation of HMA Ships Ballarat and Sirius in Malabar phase II builds our collective ability to meet shared challenges in pursuit of an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific,” said Cmdr. Antony Pisani, commanding officer HMAS Ballarat. “Close cooperation with key partners with India, Japan, and the United States fosters our professional mariner relationships and enhance our interoperability.”
US Navy participants for phase two included Carrier Strike Group 1, consisting of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing 2; Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106), and a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
Representing the Indian Navy is Rajput-class guided-missile destroyer INS Ranvijay (D55), Shivalik-class multi-role stealth frigate INS Satpura (F48), and a P-8I maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
JMSDF participants included Izumo-class multipurpose operation destroyer JS Kaga (DDH 184), and Murasame-class destroyer JS Murasame (DD 101).
Royal Australian Navy participants included Anzac-class frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) and oiler HMAS Sirius (O 266).