Malabar Tri-Navy Exercise 2014
By SP's Special Correspondent
Photo Credit: US Navy

August 19, 2014: The successful Malabar 2014 trilateral maritime exercise involving the navies of India, the U.S. and Japan was completed successfully between July 24-30, with all three nations declaring the exercise a stellar success in terms of shoring up a cooperative operational ethic between the three navies. The third Malabar exercise involving the Japanese navy, it saw India field frigate INS Shivalik, destroyer INS Ranvijay and fleet replenishment tanker INS Shakti. Indian navy Rear Adm. Atul Kumar Jain, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Adm. Hidetoshi Iwasaki, commander, Escort Flotilla 2, middle, and Capt. Shan M. Byrne, commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, sign commemorative DESRON 15 pennants aboard the Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) to celebrate the success of Malabar 2014 (see photo). According to US Navy literature, "Malabar 2014 is a U.S. Navy, Indian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force trilateral naval field training exercise aimed to improve our collective maritime relationship and increase understanding in multinational operations."

“The United States, India and Japan hold common values and seafaring traditions, making our navies natural partners,” Vice Admiral Robert Thomas, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet was quoted as saying in a US Navy Public Affairs report during the exercise. “We believe that building maritime partnerships through exercises like Malabar foster security and stability in the entire Indo-Asia Pacific region.” The report also noted that the at-sea portions the exercise involved liaison officer professional exchanges and embarks; communications exercises; search and rescue exercises; helicopter evolutions; underway replenishments; gunnery exercises; VBSS; and anti-submarine warfare exercises.

“This will certainly advance professional interaction and understanding between our Sailors and help us to achieve better synergy to tackle common maritime challenges,” said Rear Admiral A. K. Jain, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Fleet, Indian Navy. “This will also help us to take naval cooperation between the U.S., Japan and India to a new level.”