With an eye on China, US Navy joins India, Japan and Australia for Malabar exercise

The U.S. Navy is joining several other countries in the Bay of Bengal this week for the 24th iteration of Exercise Malabar, an India-led effort that comes amid increased tension between Beijing and New Dehli.

The guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain is joining the militaries of Australia, Japan and India in the exercise, which began in 1992, according to the Navy.

“Malabar provides an opportunity for like-minded navies, sharing a common vision of a more stable, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific, to operate and train alongside one another, Cmdr. Ryan T. Easterday, McCain’s commanding officer, said in a statement. “A collaborative approach toward regional security and stability is important now more than ever, to deter all who challenge a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

While the Navy’s announcement of the exercise does not state what the nations will specifically work on during the exercise, it notes that “a variety of high-end tactical training” will take place among the four nations, which all operate together regularly in the Indo-Pacific.

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