The Indian and the United States Navy are currently engaged in the 14th round of the 'Malabar' series of exercises involving anti-submarine warfare and special operations exercises. Also involved in the exercises, for the first time, will be US Navy SEALs - marine commandos - who will be part of the frontline units of the exercise.
|INS Mysore (foreground) with a US Navy ship|
Reportedly, this will be for the first time that the US Navy is sending the SEALs for these exercises.
The US Navy flotilla arrived in Goa on Friday afternoon the previous week.
The first batch of officers who set up the Indian Navy's own Marine Commandos, commonly known by the acronym MARCOS, received their initial training under the SEALS.
The US 7th Fleet flotilla that has arrived to participate in the exercises includes the following vessels: a guided missile cruiser, the USS Shiloh; destroyers USS Chaffee and USS Lassen; frigate USS Curts; a Los Angeles class nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Annapolis; and two P3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft.
The contingent also includes a 28-member US Navy special forces (SEALS) team that will engage the Indian Navy during the exercise.
The Indian Navy's Western Fleet will be represented by the following vessels in the exercises: guided missile destroyer, INS Mysore; three guided missile frigates, the INS Godavari, INS Brahmaputra and INS Tabar; a submarine, the INS Shankush; Sea Harrier fighter aircraft; and helicopters.
A statement from the Indian Navy reads: ''Naval co-operation between India and USA epitomises the long-term strategic relationship between both countries. Both navies have, over the years, undertaken diverse bilateral activities such as training exchanges, information exchanges, and technical co-operation. Our nations have significant convergence of interests, especially in the maintenance of maritime security.''