By Juliana Gittler, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Monday, October 3, 2005
More than 6,500 U.S. sailors and other personnel are in India taking part in Malabar 2005, the Navy reported.
The Sept. 26-Oct. 5 exercise is part of the Navy’s new anti-submarine warfare training. The two navies will conduct at-sea maneuvers off India’s southwest coast and make port visits, according to a Navy release.
They’ll practice search and seizure and maritime interdiction, force protection, formation steaming and coordinated gunfire. They also will train to integrate submarine, surface and air anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
Participants include the San Diego-based USS Nimitz Strike Group, destroyers USS Higgins and USS Chafee and the attack submarine USS Santa Fe. At the centre of the Indian fleet is the aircraft carrier Viraat and the warship Mysore, which are equipped with remote controlled missiles. The aim of the exercises, is to understand the level of inter-operability between the US and Indian units, the sources said. The American side is led by Comodore John Smith while leading the Indian units is Admiral S.P.S. Cheema.
Other groups participating are carrier-based aircraft and P-3C maritime patrol and reconnaissance planes.
This is the seventh Malabar exercise, the Navy reported.
As part of the exercise, sailors will have the chance to visit the city of Goa to take part in cultural relations and other programs with Indian sailors and communities.
The 7th Fleet typically participates in more than 100 exercises each year with about 15 countries. Malabar is one of several exercises conducted with the Indian Navy.