BAY OF BENGAL
– Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 Sailors
completed seven days of bi-lateral exercises with the Indian Navy
April 16, concluding Exercise Malabar 2012.
CSG-1 incorporates the Nimitz-class
aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), embarked Carrier Air Wing
(CVW) 17, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill
(CG 52) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey
(DDG 97). Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS
Bridge (T-AOE 10) also provided support for the exercise. The
frigate INS Satpura (F48), destroyers INS Ranvir (D54) and INS
Ranvijay (D55), and corvette INS Kulish (P63) represented the Indian
Navy, along with Indian Navy replenishment oiler INS Shakti (A57).
The exercise took place in approximately 450 nautical miles of sea
and air space, and offered the opportunity for the U.S. and Indian
naval services to conduct communications exercises, surface action
group (SAG) operations, helicopter cross-deck evolutions, and
gunnery exercises. The participants split into two SAGs, with Bunker
Hill leading one and Satpura leading the other. Carl Vinson and
CVW-17 provided air support for the exercise.
“We’ve witnessed some superb seamanship and professionalism from our
Indian Navy counterparts. We’ve had (Satpura) behind us for our
horizon reference unit during our night flight operations and
they’ve done a great job providing that service for us. They’re a
very capable Navy,” said Carl Vinson’s Commanding Officer Capt. Kent
The two services’ Sailors also had the opportunity to experience
their counterparts’ underway life with a series of Navy Liaison
“When you spend a couple of days with a different Navy and a
different ethos, it certainly broadens horizons and I think it makes
us more appreciative of the other country’s capabilities,” Whalen
noted. “It strengthens those ties to partnership, and we get to know
Carl Vinson conducted a historic replenishment-at-sea (RAS) exercise
with the Shakti April 13, the first one between a U.S. aircraft
carrier and an Indian oiler.
“Every time we operate with a different Navy, they learn things and
we learn things. These kinds of exercises build goodwill and
strengthen the partnership,” Whalen said. “The RAS was historic, and
the Gold Eagle Team continues to do great work. I’m very impressed
with the crew’s performance; they just keep getting better and
“We saw we can be successful working together, that we have allies
out here willing to work with us. To be a part of that RAS meant a
lot to us in Deck Department,” added Lt. j.g. Dustin Miller, Carl
Vinson’s assistant first lieutenant.
CSG-1 is conducting a Western Pacific deployment.