The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85), assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, led the commencement of Exercise Malabar 2019, Sep. 25, in port Sasebo.
An annual, multinational, naval field training exercise, Malabar is designed to improve the collective maritime relationship between the Indian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and U.S. Navy.
"It is a privilege to have our surface forces participate in Malabar 2019. This exercise continues to enhance the interoperability of our maritime forces with two of our premier partners in the Indo-Pacific region," said Capt. Steven H. DeMoss, Commander, DESRON 15. "The relationships we have cultivated with the Indian Navy through Malabar for nearly 30 years, and the decades of uninterrupted exercises and operations with JMSDF, are vital in maintaining peace and security across the region."
The three navies will participate in both an ashore and at-sea phase, hosted by the JMSDF, which will both enhance the compatibility of the maritime forces in support of maritime security in the global commons. This is the first year the JMSDF has hosted Malabar since Japan’s initial participation in 2015.
"The crew of McCampbell is excited for the opportunity to participate in Malabar 2019, both in port Sasebo and at sea," said Cmdr. Patrick Sullivan, McCampbell's commanding officer. "This exercise gives us the opportunity to exchange maritime skills and cultures, strengthen bonds and personal relationships between navies, and increase our understanding of the shared naval environment with both the Indian Navy and JMSDF."
The multinational aspect of the exercise allows for practical training while honing skills, exchanging cultures, and increasing interoperability between nations.
McCampbell is conducting routine operations in the Indo-Pacific region while assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy's largest forward deployed DESRON and the U.S. Seventh Fleet's principal surface force.