Saturday, April 24, 2010

US Navy Prepares to Participate in Exercise Malabar 2010

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Charles Oki, Navy Public Affairs Supprt Element West, Det. Japan

GOA, India (NNS) -- Ships, submarines and aircraft from the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet arrived in Goa, India, April 23 to begin exercise Malabar 2010 hosted by the Indian Navy.

Malabar is a week-long bilateral military exercise which aims to promote the interoperability of these two maritime allies.

The activities will range from fundamental coordination and communication to more advanced and complex strategic naval operations.

"The U.S. Navy and Indian Navy are natural partners and friends who share a mutual desire to ensure security and stability in this region," said Rear Adm. Kevin M. Donegan, commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet. "A high-end exercise like Malabar strengthens our growing naval relationship and the interoperability between our two professional maritime forces."

Training conducted at sea will include surface and anti-submarine warfare, coordinated gunnery exercises, air defense and visit, board, search and seizure drills. Sailors of both services will also take part in professional exchanges and discussions while at sea and on shore. U.S. Navy personnel will also participate in a community service project during the port visit to Goa.

U.S. forces participating in Malabar will include the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82) and USS Chafee (DDG 90), Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Curts (FFG 38), Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Annapolis (SSN 760), P-3 Orion aircraft, SH-60 helicopters and a Sea, Air and Land (SEAL) special forces detachment.

Operating in the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean, the U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, covering 48 million square miles and with approximately 60-70 ships, 200-300 aircraft, and 40,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any time.