Saturday, September 08, 2007

Exercise Malabar 07-2 Kicks Off

An Indian Navy frigate takes position during Malabar 2007, an exercise involving Kitty Hawk and Nimitz Carrier Strike Group and ships of the navies of Australia, India, Japan, and the Republic of Singapore. Malabar 2007 is designed to increase interoperability among the navies and to develop common procedures for maritime security operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason A. Johnston)

More than 20,000 personnel from five different countries are participating in Exercise Malabar 07-2. This multilateral exercise includes naval forces from India, Australia, Japan, Singapore and the United States.

The Malabar exercise series has historically been a bilateral exercise between the Indian and U.S. Navy. This year, the Indian navy invited other regional countries to participate.

Exercise Malabar 07-2 is designed to increase ability to operate among the Indian, Australian, Japanese, Singaporean, and U.S. maritime forces to develop common understanding and procedures for maritime operations. Interoperability among maritime forces allows for a more effective capability to respond, as necessary, to maritime threats such as terrorism proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and transnational challenges such as pandemic disease and natural disaster.

The at-sea training will include sea control operations, multi-carrier operations as well as exercise all major air, surface and subsurface maritime skill sets. The participants will also conduct personnel exchanges and professional discussions at sea and ashore.

The U.S. will be represented by the aircraft carriers USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63); guided-missile cruisers USS Cowpens (CG 63) and USS Princeton (CG 59); guided-missile destroyers USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), USS Mustin (DDG 89), USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), USS Chafee (DDG 90), and USS Higgins (DDG 76); and various P-3C and SH-60 aircrafts. In addition, two maritime prepositioning ships will participate for various portions of the exercise.

The U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets covering 52 million square miles, with approximately 50 ships, more than 200 aircraft and 20,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any given time.