The US, India and Japan have successfully completed the naval exercise Malabar 2015, which featured maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, surface and anti-submarine warfare, air defence exercises (ADEX) and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations.

The tri-lateral maritime event started with an ADEX involving the US aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and the Indian frigate INS Shivalik (F 47).

Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12 commander rear admiral Roy Kelley said: "Exercise Malabar has enabled the Indian Navy, Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF), and the US Navy to further our interoperability.

"This in turn will allow for enhanced support from any one navy to the next as they operate within and outside their nation’s maritime region, enabling a more global presence for all. Presence is important because being there matters."

"Exercise Malabar has enabled the Indian Navy, Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF), and the US Navy to further our interoperability."

During the at-sea portion of the exercise, the navies of India and the US, and the JMSDF joined together to strengthen their ability to plan and coordinate tactical operations in a multinational environment.

The sea events included submarine familiarisation, surface warfare exercises, liaison officer professional exchanges and embarkations, high-value unit defence, mine exercises, medevac, search and rescue exercises, communication exercises, and an opposed underway replenishment.

The ashore portion involved information exchanges on a wide variety of military operations, including helicopter operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, damage control, carrier strike group operations and explosive ordnance disposal.

This year’s Malabar Exercise marked the participation of Japan as a permanent member in the annual drill. Japan joined the exercise in 2007, 2009, and 2014 as a foreign invitee.

Image: USS Theodore Roosevelt and JS Fuyuzuki sail alongside the INS Shakti (A 57) during Exercise Malabar 2015. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by mass communication specialist seaman Chad M Trudeau / Released.