Exercise Malabar could be expanded until Quad Partner can decide: US Admiral

Relations between India and the US are central to a peaceful, free and stable Indo-Pacific, he says

As the quad country group began Phase II of the Malabar naval exercise in the Gulf of Bengal on Tuesday, Admiral Michael Gilday, chief of operations for the US Navy, said the exercise could be expanded and it would be passed on to “partners within the quad” is to discuss.

“With regard to Malabar, the exercise could be expanded in the future. It is up to the partners in the quad to discuss it. But remember that there are several exercises each year in the Indo-Pacific and around the world that bring like-minded partners and allies together to work together … ”said Admiral Gilday in a virtual interaction with a small group of journalists. He will be on an official five-day visit to India from October 11th.

The admiral stated that India-US relations are central to a peaceful, free and stable Indo-Pacific, saying what they want to do “is really the key to the skills we find to fill gaps between the.” To fill the other’s fleets ”.

High-end operation

“Cyber ​​would be one of them as an area that we want to further refine in terms of collaboration, as well as high-end operations that we want to conduct together, be it in the air, at sea, and under the sea. ”

On Tuesday, Admiral Gilday met with Naval Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. Talks focused primarily on the Indian Ocean, he said. He is also to take part with an Indian delegation in the US Navy Carrier Strike Group, which is taking part in exercise Malabar off the east coast of India.

Admiral Gilday is on a five-day visit to India from October 11th to 15th.

Admiral Gilday is on a five-day visit to India from October 11th to 15th. | Photo credit: Twitter. @USNavyCNO

When asked by The Hindu about the operationalization of the various basic agreements, Admiral Gilday said they had been “very aggressive” in terms of implementation. As examples, he cited the mutual use of airfields, ports and refueling capacities, which the agreements are essential for improving the interoperability of the two sides. “You are now ready for action … Our communication and logistics arrangements are alive, good and thriving.”

India has now signed all four basic agreements with the US – the Logistics Agreement in 2016, the Communication Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) in 2018, and the Basic Geospatial Cooperation Agreement (BECA) in 2020, the Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) was signed a long time ago, an extension, the Industrial Security Annex (ISA), was signed in 2019.

Ex Malabar Phase-II

While Phase I of Malabar took place in August and was hosted by the US Navy near Guam, Phase II will take place December 12-15. October in the Bay of Bengal.

Phase 2 would build on the synergy, coordination and interoperability developed during the first phase of the exercise and focus on advanced surface and anti-submarine defense exercises, seamanship developments and weapon launches, the Navy said.

“The 25th edition of Malabar, which will be conducted in two phases in compliance with all protocols during the pandemic, reflects the commitment of the participating countries to support a free, open, inclusive Indo-Pacific as well as a rules-based international order,” it said .

For the exercise, the Navy deployed two warships on the front lines, a P8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft and a submarine, while the U.S. Navy deployed the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson along with two destroyers. The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) is represented by JS Kaga and JS Murasame, while the Royal Australian Navy has deployed HMAS Ballarat and HMAS Sirius.