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13-day Indo-US naval exercises begins off Goa Coast

Written by: Staff
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Panaji, Oct 26 (UNI) The Indo-US naval exercises, ninth in its series, code named 'Malabar-2006' got underway from October 24 off Goa coast, marking yet another phase of bilateral cooperation.

The prestigious exercises, benefiting both the navies, include a 'Day At Sea' to be witnessed by a group of special invitees including the media persons on October 29.

The participating Indian warships include INS Mysore (Delhi class destroyer), the guided missile frigates Beas and Ganga, underway replenishment tanker Shakti, a large landing ship (Tank) Gharial, the sub-surface killer submarine INS Shankul, Coast Guard Ship Samar and reconnaissance aircraft and Sea Harrier fighters operating from ashore.

The US Navy's Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG-05) comprises USS Boxer (landing platform - helicopter&dock), the cruiser USS Bunker Hill, destroyers Benfold and Howard, the US Coast Guard Cutter Midgett, the Canadian Frigate Ottawa, the nuclear powered submarine USS Providence and a P3C Orion (operating from Goa).

The two navies would, for the first time, be also exercising expeditionary operations off the Konkan coast. Some of the Indian army troops, who had already been trained on board INS Gharial landing ship, would now be sharing their experiences with the US marines in the operation involving sea-borne landing under the current Malabar series.

Both the navies will engage themselves in advanced exercises including anti-submarine operations, maritime interdictions, weapon firings, Visit Board Search&Seizure (VBSS) operations, Dissimilar Air Combat (DACT), cross deck flying and a simulated 'war at sea'.

''At one level, such Navy-to-Navy interactions help us to hone our skills and audit our own standards by first hand comparison with navies of advanced countries. On the other hand, it improves mutual understanding and co-operation and helps evolve inter-operability through common drills and procedures,'' according to official sources.

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