Navies of India, US, Japan, Australia begin Malabar exercise near East China Sea

| | New Delhi
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Navies of India, US, Japan, Australia begin Malabar exercise near East China Sea

Thursday, 10 November 2022 | Pioneer News Service | New Delhi

The high-profile Malabar exercise involving navies of India, US, Japan and Australia commenced in Japan on Wednesday off the coast of Yokosuka Island near the East China sea.  The four navies are part of the Quad combine.

The exercise is taking place in the backdrop of China adopting an aggressive posture in the region and criticizing the formation of the Quad claiming it will lead to militarization of the Indo-Pacific and other regions.

Indian war ships Shivalik and INS Kamorta are taking part in the 10-day high-voltage exercise hosted by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), officials said here.

The opening ceremony of the exercise was attended by Commander of Indian Navy's Eastern Fleet Rear Admiral Sanjay Bhalla, Commander in Chief of Self Defense Fleet of Japanese Navy Vice Admiral Yuasa Hideki, Commander of US Navy's Seventh Fleet Vice Admiral Karl Thomas and Commander of Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Jonathan Earley.

"The multilateral exercise Malabar between the navies of India, Japan, US and Australia began today with an opening ceremony hosted by the JMSDF onboard JS Hyuga at Yokosuka," said a spokesperson of the Indian Navy.  The exercise will feature a number of complex drills involving several frontline warships and other assets of the four navies.

Following India's invitation, Australia participated in the Malabar exercise in 2020, effectively making it a drill by all four member nations of the Quad or Quadrilateral coalition. Australia participated in last year's exercise as well.

The Malabar exercise started in 1992 as a bilateral drill between the Indian Navy and the US Navy in the Indian Ocean. Japan became a permanent member of the exercise in 2015.

This annual exercise was conducted off the coast of Guam in 2018 and off the coast of Japan in 2019.

In 2020, the exercise was hosted in two phases in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. Last year, the mega wargame took place off the coast of Guam in the Western Pacific.

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