India-US-Japan Malabar exercise at Guam in June

The Indo-US-Japan Malabar series of naval exercise will take place in June at Guam in the western Pacific in which the US Navy will field its latest Nuclear powered super-carrier USS Ronald Regan whereas the Indian Navy will send three of its warships including a stealth frigate.

From the Indian side, indigenous stealth frigate INS Sahyadri, anti-submarine stealth corvette INS Kamorta and a fleet tanker will participate in the exercise scheduled between June 7 and 15, sources told DH.

The aviation support will come from long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P8I. A similar aircraft known as P8-Poseidon is operated by the US Navy.

US Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard has a big presence at Guam, which is being prepared to be the western-most military training range for the US. From the US side, the star attraction of the exercise would be the Nimitz-class super-carrier USS Ronald Regan.

No Australia

Sources said Australia wouldn't be a part of the Malabar-2018 though Canberra repeatedly approached New Delhi to be a part of the multilateral naval drill. Australia expected at least an observer status in Malabar before becoming a member, but India remained firm.

Only in 2016, India and USA agreed to allow Japan to become a permanent member in the naval drill that was in place since the 1990s.

India's decision of excluding Australia from the naval war game received a rare appreciation from Beijing.

Opening up the doors for Japan sync well with the US strategy of creating an alliance of like-minded nations in the Indo-Pacific to counter China's rising military prowess.

2017 edition

The 2017 edition of the Malabar took place in the Bay of Bengal in which three navies practiced carrier strike group operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, surface and anti-submarine warfare, medical operations, damage control, special forces operations, explosive ordnance disposal, helicopter operations, and visit board search and seizure operations.

It was the first major India-US military drill in the Donald Trump administration.

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India-US-Japan Malabar exercise at Guam in June

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