Chief of US naval operations Admiral Michael Gilday on Thursday hosted Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and 11 other senior military officials aboard nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson in the Bay of Bengal.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is part of the deployment by the US Navy in the second phase of the ongoing Malabar exercise featuring the navies of all four Quad countries — India, the US, Australia and Japan.
The US Navy said Admiral Gilday hosted 12 senior Indian Navy officers aboard USS Carl Vinson on Thursday during the Malabar exercise. The four-day exercise began on Tuesday.
“The visit to the aircraft carrier, which included Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Vice Admiral A B Singh, Commander in Chief, Eastern Naval Command, took place during the second phase of the exercise off the coast of India,” the US Navy said in a statement.
Admiral Gilday is on a five-day visit to India from October 11 to 15.
“This visit to Carl Vinson during Malabar was an important opportunity to see first-hand the integration between our two navies at-sea,” Admiral Gilday said.
“By our navies continuing to exercise together, as we are doing right now alongside Japanese and Australian naval forces, there is no doubt our partnership will only continue to grow. Cooperation, when applied with naval power, promotes freedom and peace, and prevents coercion, intimidation and aggression,” he added.
Besides USS Carl Vinson, the US also deployed Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Stockdale in the exercise.
After taking its maiden voyage in 1983, USS Carl Vinson was part of several major operations including Operation Desert Strike, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom.
US Charge d’Affaires Patricia Lacina, who also participated in the visit to Carl Vinson, expressed similar sentiments.
“Exercise Malabar is a showcase example of defense collaboration between our four partnering countries, demonstrating what we can accomplish when we work together to advance our common interests in the Indo-Pacific,” she said.
“We stand committed to ensure peace, security, and economic prosperity in the region and beyond,” she added.
Rear Admiral Dan Martin, Commander of Carrier Strike Group 1, said he was honored to host the visitors aboard Carl Vinson.
“We value the bonds and personal relationships we have developed during exercise Malabar,? said Martin.
Following India’s invitation, Australia participated in the Malabar exercise last year that effectively made it a drill by all four member nations of the Quad or Quadrilateral coalition. Australia participated in this year’s exercise too.
The Malabar exercise started in 1992 as a bilateral drill between the Indian Navy and the US Navy in the Indian Ocean. Japan became a permanent member of the exercise in 2015.
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