Piracy in high seas common concern for US, Indian navy

"Anti pirates operations are one of the best examples where two navies can coordinate with each other. We are conducting similar kind of exercises which are usually held during anti pirates operations," Flag officer Commanding Goa Area (FOGA), Rear Admiral Sudhir Pillai told reporters here. The leaders of both-Indian and American navies were talking to the press before commencing actual war-games off coast this afternoon.

Indo-US bilateral Naval Exercises, Malabar 10 began from April 23 and will conclude on May 2 after gruelling schedule in which both the navies will understand, cooperate and work on interoperability off shore. During the current exercise, US Navy will be represented by ships from CTF 70 of US Navy's 7th fleet which is based at Yokosuka, Japan.

The CTF will include cruiser USS Shiloh, destroyers USS Chaffee, USS Lassen and frigate USS Curts. In addition, one Los Angeles class nuclear powered submarine, USS Annapolis, two P3C Orion aircraft and a 28 member of US Navy Special Forces team will also participate in the exercise.

The Indian Navy will be represented by INS Mysore, an indigenous Delhi class guided missile destroyer and three guided missile frigates, INS Godavari, INS Brahmaputra and INS Tabar. In addition one Shishumar class submarine, INS Shankush, Sea Harrier fighters, other fixed and rotary wing aircrafts are also scheduled to participate in the bilateral exercise.

In all 3,000 personel will be engaged in exercises from both the sides. Rear Admiral Kevin Donegan, representing US Navy, said that anti pirates operations is a perfect example that no single nation can ensure security of the world. "Many nations are involved in such kind of process," he stated.

The US Naval officer said that these kind of joint exercises help understand each others' procedures and share information. "We have to acknowledge that there are not enough forces in the sea," he conceded.

"In Malabar we will exercise bits and pieces of what we are going to do during anti pirates operations," Pillai said. Capt Atul Jain, commanding officer of INS Mysore, said that Indian Navy is yet to do anti-pirates operations with US Navy.

"We have not done anti pirates operations with US Navy but their support and assets are required during the operations ship like fuel replenishment," he said. Rear Admiral Donegan said that the complexity of Malabar exercises has increased over a period of time.

"Such kind of exercise benefit American navy a lot. Even though these are high end exercises, we make friendship even with sailors. We both respect each others training," Donegan said. "Indian and American navy are compatible having similar instruments and we are at great ease working with each other," he said. "We could do it better because we could operate together," Donegan quipped.

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