NEWS | Sept. 24, 2019

Indian, Japanese and U.S. maritime forces to participate in exercise Malabar 2019

By Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Litzenberger

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) – Ships, aircraft and personnel from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), the Indian Navy (INN) and the U.S. Navy (USN) will participate in exercise Malabar 2019 off the coast of Sasebo, Japan, Sept. 26.


This iteration marks the first time that the JMSDF have led Malabar, and is the latest in a continuing series of exercises that has grown in scope and complexity over the years to address the variety of shared threats to maritime security.


“Thanks to the hard work of staffs and leaders in the Indian and U.S. navies, we now enjoy this excellent relationship between our three countries,” said JMSDF Rear Adm. Masafumi Nishiwaki, Commander, Escort Flotilla Four. “This exercise is an opportunity to fully integrate our teams and refine our support for each other, so we can have greater confidence in our combined capabilities.” Nishiwaki will represent JMSDF at the opening ceremony in Sasebo, Sept. 26.


Malabar 2019 will feature training ashore and at-sea in waters off the coast of Japan. Training will focus on high-end warfighting skillsets, subject matter expert and professional exchanges, combined operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, submarine familiarization, surface and anti-submarine warfare, medical operations, damage control, helicopter operations and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations.


“Sailors are the lifeblood of any maritime force,” said Rear Adm. Jimmy Pitts, Commander, Submarine Group 7, who will represent the U.S. Navy at the opening ceremony. “Aboard the ships, aircraft and submarines of all three of our countries - India, Japan and the U.S. - are men and women who share an impressive legacy of diligence, discipline and sincerity. Their commitment to warfighting readiness is what will make this exercise so successful.”


Indian, Japanese and U.S. maritime forces look forward to working together again to build upon and advance their working relationship. Each iteration of this exercise helps to increase the level of understanding between our Sailors and interoperability between our three navies.


“Over the past two decades plus of Malabar exercises, the partner navies have evolved and worked together on shared values and principles towards enabling safe and secure seas,” said Rear Admiral Suraj Berry, who will represent the Indian navy at the opening ceremony. “The scope and complexity of the exercise is testimony to the increased interoperability between our navies. I am confident that our unwavering commitment to working together for peace and stability of the Indian and Pacific Oceans would enable prosperity of the Indo-Pacific.”


For a list of participating Indian forces, please refer to the Indian Navy Headquarters. For a list of participating Japanese forces, please refer to the Japan Maritime Staff Office. For information regarding U.S. Navy participation, contact Lt. Cassandra Thompson by e-mail at


COMSUBGRU 7 directs submarine activities throughout the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea; two forward-deployed submarine tenders and four attack submarines homeported in Guam; five surveillance towed array sensor system vessels and three oceanographic survey vessels when tasked for theater anti-submarine warfare operations.