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Quad Navies Begin Four-Day Malabar Exercise off Coast of Guam

Quad countries carry out the 25th edition of the Malabar exercise from 26 August to 29 August off the coast of Guam.

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World
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The Quad countries — India, the US, Australia and Japan — begun the 25th edition of the 4-day Malabar naval exercise on Thursday, 26 August. Image for representational purposes.</p></div>
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The Quad countries — India, the US, Australia and Japan — began the 25th edition of the four-day Malabar naval exercise on Thursday, 26 August, off the coast of Guam, an island territory of the US in the Western Pacific.

The high-voltage exercise is being hosted by the US navy and taking place amid global concerns over China's expansionist behaviour to work towards a free and fair Indo-Pacific.

A bilateral drill, the naval exercise began between India and the US in the Indian Ocean. In 2015, Japan became a permanent member of the Malabar exercise. Australia was invited last year.

Indian Navy's stealth frigate INS Shivalik was deployed along with the anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kadmatt and a fleet of P8I maritime surveillance aircraft. As per Navy officials, these arrived on Saturday to take part in the exercise, news agency PTI reported.

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US assets deployed for the purpose of the Malabar exercise include US Pacific Fleet's Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry, naval special warfare forces, maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft from Task Force 72, and military sealift command's Henry J Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler USNS Rappahannock, PTI reported.

'Testimony of Synergy'

According to Indian Navy Spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal, holding the exercise despite COVID-19 concerns is a "testimony of synergy" between the participating nations, PTI reported.

"Malabar-21 would witness high-tempo exercises including anti-surface, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare drill, and other manoeuvres and tactical exercises. The exercise will provide an opportunity for participating navies to derive benefit from each other's expertise and experiences,"
Indian Navy Spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal

The navy spokesperson also stated, "The exercise will provide an opportunity for common-minded navies to enhance inter-operability, gain from best practices and develop a common understanding of procedures for maritime security operations," PTI quoted.

What the US Has Said

Captain Chase Sargeant, Commander, Task Force (CTF) 71 of US 7th Fleet called the exercise an "excellent opportunity to conduct multi-national training to hone warfighting and maritime security skill sets," adding that the US, with its allies, aims to build a foundation for regional security and stability that benefits all Indo-Pacific nations.

US President Joe Biden is expected to hold an in-person summit of the leaders of the Quad countries in Washington later this year. The summit will explore ways to expand cooperation among its member countries, thus strengthening diplomacy.

In an interactive session at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) on Wednesday, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command Admiral John Aquilino on Wednesday, hinted towards the possibility of having more participants at the Malabar naval exercise if the leaders of the currently engaged countries accord with it, PTI reported.

(With inputs from PTI)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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