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The Malabar Exercise-2017
Ajay Mohan
2017-07-10
Region : AsiaSouthAsia/India,
Issue : Arms & Trade, Nuclear Issues, Security,
The Malabar Exercise 2017 started on 10th July the focus of this exercise is “Anti-Submarine Operation”. The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, the Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) commenced the Malabar in-port portions in Chennai. The maritime exercise Malabar, which was first held in 1992, occurs annually to improve interoperability between U.S., Indian, and Japanese maritime forces. The exercise enhances maritime relationships and demonstrates credible naval power in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
The Chinese foreign ministry reaction is that it has no objection to the exercise but it should not be against any country. This exercise has become more important because the tension between India and China in the Doko-La (or Donglong) tri-junction area. Lin Minwang a Chinese expert of the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai raised the concern of growing strategic partnership between U.S and India. Chinese think tank closely observing Modi’s visit to US and how US permitted to India sale Predator Guardian drones those only available NATO allies. And "Unprecedented" deal between US and India to jointly produce the combat-proven F-16 fighter jets in India.
Basically the main objective of the this exercise is that how to balance the power in the region India, Japan and US have only one interest to counter Chinese aggression. Cmdr. Vernon H. Stanfield, the Nimitz Strike Group operations officer said “The exercise continues to grow because we are bringing in more ships and we are bringing together three countries”. “We make sure that we strengthen our partnerships, and we learn from the experience so that we continue to become more proficient in the future.”
The trilateral, two-phase exercise is held in Chennai and in the waters of the Bay of Bengal. The exercise emphasizes high-end warfighting skills, maritime superiority and power projection. Crews will practice surface and antisubmarine warfare maneuvers, perform medical exchanges, hold explosive ordnance disposal training, and conduct visit, board, and search and seizure operations. It also provides the opportunity for the participating nations to build upon their common values and shared seafaring tradition while fostering security and stability in the region through common national goals.
“Each time we do one of these exercises it’s a learning curve on how to coordinate with other units,” said Cmdr. Bill Selk, from Phoenix, Arizona, the Nimitz operations officer. “For Malabar, we are doing the same things but now it’s just with other countries. We are learning how to integrate with the Indian navy. We do this exercise annually so that we can keep those skills honed.”
Malabar 2017 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises that has grown in scope and complexity over the years to address the variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific where the U.S. Navy has patrolled for more than 70 years promoting regional peace and security. Nimitz is currently on deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group consists of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Princeton (CG 59), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 staff and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9. The deployed units from DESRON 9 include the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Howard (DDG 83), USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and USS Kidd (DDG 100).Among the dozens of ships participating from each of the countries, the highlights are India's 44,570 tonne aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (its modified Russian-made Kiev-class carrier that was commissioned in 2013), Japan's largest 27,000-tonne helicopter carrier Izmuo and the US's 100,000 tonne, nuclear powered super-carrier USS Nimitz will be a part of the exercise.
Indian government has very big concern of emerging Chinese presence in Indian Ocean. It is report that around more than a dozen Chinese warships, including submarines, destroyers and intelligence-gathering vessels, in the Indian Ocean during the last two months. And Chinese intelligence gathering ship Haiwingxing sailed into the Indian Ocean in June end is being closely monitored by the Indian Navy. And other side two big neighbour’s army stand-off last three weeks at an India-China-Bhutan tri-junction close to the Sikkim border.
Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FORE INDIA

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