Trilateral maritime exercise Malabar 2018 was conducted off the coast of Guam from June 7 through June 16.
Initiated in 1992 as an exercise between the U.S. and Indian Navy, Malabar 2018 is the 22nd rendition of the exercise and included the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), a regular participant since 2015.
The exercise accomplished maritime interoperability training objectives among the three maritime forces, emphasizing high-end war fighting skills, maritime superiority, and power projection. This is the first year that Malabar was conducted in the Guam operation area. The two-phase exercise took place ashore in Guam and underway in the Philippine Sea.
While ashore in Guam, training included subject matter expert and professional exchanges on operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, anti-submarine warfare, medical operations, damage control, helicopter operations, ship tours, and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations.
Additionally during the ashore portion, personnel from the three maritime forces participated in competitive events such as soccer, volleyball and basketball to build comradery amongst one another.
The at-sea portions conducted in the Philippine Sea were 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 included liaison officer professional exchanges and embarks, a photo exercise, submarine familiarization, high-value unit defense, air defense exercises, surface warfare exercises, communications exercises, search and rescue exercises, helicopter cross-deck evolutions, underway replenishments, gunnery exercises, VBSS exercises, and anti-submarine warfare.
Surface ships from the U.S. Navy participating in the at-sea phase of the exercise included the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), the guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), and the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65).
The United States, Japan and India have a range of common security interests that include maritime security, counter terrorism, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and having an active role building regional partner capacity and maritime domain awareness. By doing so, they bolster the shared vision laid out by their respective governments to contribute to overall peace and security in the region.