Indo-US joint Naval exercises to commence from tomorrow

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Panaji, Oct 18 (UNI) The 12th Indo-US joint Naval exercise, 'Malabar-08', will commence in the Arabain Sea off the Goa coast from tomorrow.

Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet (FOCWF) Rear Admiral Anil Chopra and USN Commanding Officer Captain John P Nolan, addressing a joint press conference on board a ship here today, said the frontline units from both the navies will participate in the five-day exercise.

The thrust of the exercise this year would be on surface / air operation, advanced anti-sabmarine warfare (ASW), surface firings, visit board search and seizure (VBSS) and submarine operations.

Adm Chopra said the annual Malabar series of exercises that commenced in 1992, provides an opportunity to exercise various activites, ranging from gun-firing, fighter combat operations from aircraft carriers, to combat the scourge of terror through Martime interdiction operations exercises.

Capt Nolan said ''The 'USS Chancellorsville's' participation in Malbabar 2008 provides our officers and crew with first hand understanding of India's environment and more importantly, an opportunity to develop relationship with India's Naval leaders and sailors.'' ''We will also be able to share technical expertise, beneficial for the security of both our countries,'' he said.

He said 'USS Chancellorsville', a Cruiser, had paid port calls around the world and came to India for the first time. It is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missle cruiser, named for the Confederate victory over Union forces at the Battle of Chancellorville in Virginia.

Adm Chopra said during this exercise, the US Navy will be represented by the Ronald Reagan Strike Group (RRSG) of the USN 7th fleet, which is based at Yokosuka, Japan. The RRSG will include 'USS Ronald Reagan', a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, 'USS Chancellorsville', 'USS Gridley', 'USS Decatur', 'USS Thach' and 'USS Beidge', an underway replenishemet tanker. In addition, one Los Angeles-class nuclear nuclear-powered submarine, 'USS Springfield', and one P3C Orion aircraft will also participate in the exercise.

While, the Indian Navy will be represented by 'INS Mumbai', an indigenous Delhi-class guided missle destroyer, 'INS Rana', a Rajput class guided missle destroyer, and 'INS Talwar', 'Godavari', 'Brahmputra' and 'Betwa'. In addtion, 'INS Adtiya' which is an underway replenishement tanker, and one Shishumar- class submarine, Sea Harrier fighters and fixed and rotary wing aircraft are also scheudled to participate in this exercise.

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