US, India, Japan stage largest joint drills to address ‘maritime security threats’

Monday, July 10, 2017
By Paul Martin
10 Jul, 2017

The US has begun naval exercises with Japan and India, with the US Navy saying the drills will help the countries tackle maritime threats in the Asia-Pacific region. China says it hopes the cooperation isn’t aimed against a “third country.”

The US Navy, the Indian Navy, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) began the Malabar 2017 exercises in Chennai, India, on Sunday, according to the US Pacific Fleet.

The annual drills are aimed at addressing “the variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific,” the Navy said last week.

The exercises are also aimed at “improving interoperability between US, Indian, and Japanese maritime forces,” according to the US Pacific Fleet.

The trilateral, two-phase drills are held in Chennai and the Bay of Bengal.

“The exercise emphasizes high-end warfighting skills, maritime superiority and power projection,” the US Pacific Fleet wrote on Sunday.

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