CHENNAI, India (NNS) – October 16, 2015 — The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) completed the harbor phase of exercise Malabar in Chennai, India, Oct. 15.
Malabar 2015 is a complex, high-end warfighting exercise that has grown in scope and complexity over the years and is the latest in a continuing series conducted to advance multi-national maritime relationships and mutual security issues.
During the harbor phase in Chennai, the Fort Worth crew participated in subject matter expert and professional exchanges on maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, surface and anti-submarine warfare, medical operations, damage control, helicopter operations and visit board search and seizure (VBSS) operations.
“The harbor phase training was quite beneficial to the crew,” said Cmdr. Christopher Brown, commanding officer of Fort Worth. “This is the first time the crew of Fort Worth has had the opportunity to work and train with members of the Indian Navy and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and what we were able to learn from each other will go a long way towards advancing our interoperability.”
Included during the harbor phase was a tour of the Fort Worth for sailors from the India Navy and JMSDF. During the tour, the sailors were given a presentation by sailors assigned to Helicopter Strike Squadron (HSM) 35, Detachment 3 on the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft system and were briefed on the capabilities of Fort Worth.
2015 marks the first time that a U.S. Navy littoral combat ship has participated in Malabar and will be the first time one has operated in the Indian Ocean, which will occur during the sea phase portion of Malabar.
“We are looking forward to getting to sea and participating in a number of complex surface warfare exercises,” said Brown. “This is the first time a littoral combat ship has participated in Malabar and the sea phase provides a unique opportunity for Fort Worth to operate hull-to-hull with ships from the Indian navy and JMSDF.”
Fort Worth will participate in a number of events during the sea phase of Malabar, including liaison officer professional exchanges and embarks; photo exercise; submarine familiarization, high-value unit defense; air and mine defense exercises; surface warfare, communications, gunnery, search and rescue and VBSS exercises; medevac; helicopter cross-deck evolutions; underway replenishments; and anti-submarine warfare.
Malabar is an annual maritime exercise with the Indian Navy that includes the JMSDF in 2015. The JMSDF last participated in Malabar 2014 and Malabar 2009.
Commander, Task Force 73 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 staff conduct advanced planning, organize resources and directly support the execution of maritime exercises such as the bilateral CARAT series, the Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) with Vietnam, and the multilateral Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
By Lt. Kevin Chambers, Destroyer Squadron 7 Public Affairs