Trilateral maritime exercise between India, U.S. and Japan Naval Forces was conducted off the coast of Guam from June 7 through June 16
Malabar 2018, a trilateral maritime exercise, was conducted off the coast of Guam from June 7 through June 16. Started as an exercise between the Indian Navy and the US Navy in 1992, its 22nd version, Malabar 2018 included the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). The JMSDF has been participating regularly since 2015. Accomplishing maritime interoperability training objectives among the three forces, the exercise emphasized high-end warfighting skills, power projection, and maritime superiority. This was the first time exercise Malabar was conducted in the Guam operation area. Malabar 2018 was a two-phase exercise that was conducted ashore in Guam and in the Philippine Sea.
The first phase of the training exercise took place in Guam and 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. Personnel from the three maritime forces also participated in competitive sporting events like soccer and basketball during the first phase of the exercise. The second phase, conducted in the Philippine Sea, was specifically designed to develop military to military coordination of the participating nations. The event at sea included liaison officer professional exchanges and embarks, a photo exercise, submarine familiarization, high-value unit defence, air defence exercises, surface warfare exercises, communications exercises, search and rescue exercises, helicopter cross-deck evolutions, underway replenishments, gunnery exercises, VBSS exercises, and anti-submarine warfare.
All three countries share a plethora of common security interests that include maritime security, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and having an active role in building regional partner capacity and maritime domain awareness. This exercise helps in bolstering the shared vision laid out by their respective governments to contribute to overall peace and security in the region.