The United States, Australia, India and Japan began Exercise Malabar 2023 Friday with ships steaming into Sydney on Thursday for the harbor phase of the exercise.
The harbor phase will be held until Aug. 15 while the at-sea phase will take place off the east coast of Australia from Aug. 16-21, according to a Tuesday Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) release. The at-sea phase will see a wide range of tactical exercises, such as surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, air defense, special forces and replenishment at sea exercises.
Originally beginning in 1992 as an exercise between the U.S and Indian navies, Exercise Malabar subsequently expanded to include Australia and Japan. Australia is hosting he exercise, now in its 27th edition, for the first time.
The JMSDF will deploy destroyer JS Shiranui (DD-120), part of the 1st Surface Unit of the JMSDF’s Indo Pacific Deployment 2023 (IPD23) mission, along with a special boarding unit of the JMSDF. The U.S is deploying destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115), fleet oiler USNS Rappahannock (T-AO-204), a submarine, P-8A Poseidons Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and special operations forces. India is participating with destroyer INS Kolkata (D63) and frigate INS Sahyadri (F49). Australia is participating with destroyer HMAS Brisbane (DDG-41), landing ship HMAS Choules (L100), a submarine, special force and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F-35 fighters and P-8A Poseidons MPA.
RAAF Hawk 127s fighter trainers will also participate in the exercise, according to a Friday release from the Australian Department of Defence.
On Thursday, Brisbane led Choules, landing platform dock USS Green Bay (LPD-20), Kolkata, Shiranui and Sahyadri into Sydney harbor for the start of the exercise.
Japan, Australia and the U.S. are also working together as part of a multination humanitarian effort. The U.S. Navy-led multinational Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) mission Pacific Partnership 2023 officially began Wednesday with its first stop in Vietnam, according to a Navy release.
This year’s mission will feature nearly 1500 personnel from partner nations from Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, according to the release. The mission involves two ships – landing ship dock USS Pearl Harbor (LSD-52), which will carry the Pacific Partnership mission team, and Littoral Combat Ship USS Jackson (LCS-6).
Jackson arrived in Fiji on Aug. 3 to carry out a Pacific Partnership engagement there while Pearl Harbor departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham Sunday for the mission.