OKINAWA, Japan (NNS) -- Ships, aircraft and submarines from the United States, Japan and India will take part in Exercise Malabar 09 off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, April 26 to May 3.
The Malabar exercise series has historically been a bilateral exercise between the U.S. and Indian navies. This year the Indian Navy also invited the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force to participate.
Exercise Malabar 09 is designed to increase interoperability among the Indian, Japanese and U.S. maritime forces to develop a common understanding and procedures for maritime operations.
"We look forward to this opportunity to work with the very professional maritime forces of India and Japan," said Vice Adm. John Bird, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. "Malabar gives us the chance to build greater interoperability with two of our most important regional partners."
The at-sea training will include anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare maneuvers; gunnery training; air defense; and visit, board, search and seizure. The participants will also conduct personnel exchanges and professional discussions at sea and ashore.
The United States will be represented by 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), guided missile destroyers USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS Chafee (DDG 90) and fast- attack submarine USS Seawolf (SSN 21), along with various P-3C and SH-60 aircraft.
Operating in the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean, the U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, covering 48 million square miles and with approximately 60-70 ships, 200-300 aircraft, and 40,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any time. For more information, visit the U.S. 7th Fleet Web site at www.c7f.navy.mil.
For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c7f/.