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Malabar-21 Maritime Exercise In The Western Pacific

This Year Marks The 25th Edition Of The Exercise Being Hosted By The US Navy

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
I am a mumbai based journalist having worked with many daily newspapers.

INDIA. Mumbai: Indian Navy (IN) is participating in the sea phase of Exercise Malabar 2021 from August 26 till August 29, along with the US Navy (USN), Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF), and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Malabar series of maritime exercises commenced in 1992 as an IN-USN Exercise. In 2015, JMSDF joined Malabar as a permanent member. The 2020 edition witnessed the participation of the Royal Australian Navy. This year marks the 25th edition of Ex Malabar, being hosted by USN in the Western Pacific.

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The Indian Navy’s participation includes INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt and P8I patrol aircraft led by Rear Admiral Tarun Sobti, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet (FOCEF). The US Navy is represented by USS Barry, USNS Rappahannock, USNS Big Horn, and P8A patrol aircraft. The Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force is represented by JS Kaga, Murasame, and Shiranui, in addition to a submarine and P1 patrol aircraft. The Royal Australian Navy is represented by HMAS Warramunga.

 The IN ships sailed from Guam where they participated in Operational Turn Around from August 21 to August 24. During this phase, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command Vice Admiral AB Singh, exchanged views with counterparts in the US Navy. 

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 MALABAR-21 witnesses complex exercises including anti-surface, anti-air, and anti-submarine warfare drills, and other manoeuvres and tactical exercises. The exercise provides an opportunity for participating navies to derive benefit from each other’s expertise and experiences. The conduct of the exercise while observing health protocols during the COVID-19 global pandemic is a testimony to the synergy between the participating navies and our shared vision for a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, a Defence spokesman Commander Mehul Karnik said.

War veterans felicitated

The veterans of the 1971 Indo-Pak war and wives of ex-servicemen were felicitated by Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar. (Photo credit: Indian Navy).

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In another development, interaction with veteran sailors was held at INS Gomantak (Naval establishment in Goa), as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and Swarnim Vijay Varsh celebrations, on Friday. During the event, Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command felicitated Veer Naris (wives of ex-servicemen) and 1971 War veterans. 

Addressing the gathering, the Admiral said that the Navy is indebted to the veterans for their service; and explained the measures implemented towards the welfare of ex-servicemen. He called upon the veterans to encourage youth to join the Navy, as Ambassadors of the service.

In the meanwhile a 16 Km Cyclothon is being organized by Indian Air Force from RC Church, Colaba in South Mumbai to Air Force Station Cotton Green in South Central Mumbai, on Sunday. Air Vice-Marshal SR Singh, VM, VSM Air Officer Commanding, HQ Maritime Air Operations, Mumbai, will be the chief guest on the occasion.

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