Santa Rita, Guam -- The Los Angeles-class submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) joined forces Sept. 30 with ships, aircraft and personnel from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), the Indian Navy (INN) and the U.S. Navy (USN) as part of exercise Malabar 2019.
Malabar is an annual maritime exercise started in 1992 with the Indian Navy (INN). Malabar 2019 will be hosted by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), which has been a regular participant since 2015. The objective of Malabar 2019 is to improve interoperability between Indian, Japanese and U.S. maritime forces and provide an opportunity to conduct engagement highlighting U.S. cooperation with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.
Oklahoma City took part in the at-sea phase, which was comprised of multiple anti-submarine warfare (ASW) drills, communication exercises, maneuvering exercises, submarine familiarization, a tracking exercise and a photo exercise; designed to enhance unit-level training, improve the countries’ ability to respond to a submarine threat, and enhance interoperability between the JMSDF, U.S. and Indian navies.
“The exercise continues to serve as an opportunity for the submarine force to strengthen its allied partnerships,” said Cmdr. Steven Lawrence, Oklahoma City’s commanding officer. “Each year we get to gain experience in coordinating with other units and increase the complexity of the exercise.”
The annual exercise served as a career enhancing experience for the crew aboard Oklahoma City.
“Being able to participate in Malabar was a great experience for our crew,” said Master Chief Kevin Swanson, Oklahoma City’s chief of the boat. “Our Sailors experienced the ability to integrate and communicate among three different navies.”
Malabar 2019 training focused on high-end warfighting skillsets, subject matter expert and professional exchanges, combined operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, submarine familiarization, surface and anti-submarine warfare, medical operations, damage control, helicopter operations and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations.
“As a forward deployed submarine squadron, we look forward to continuing to strengthen the partnerships between our maritime forces and advancing our operational capabilities,” said Capt. Tim Poe, Commodore, Commander, Squadron 15. “Malabar provides our submarines with significant training and helps us ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”
CSS-15 is located at Polaris Point, Naval Base Guam in Santa Rita, Guam, and includes four Los Angeles-class attack submarines.
The squadron staff is responsible for providing training, material and personnel readiness support to these commands. Also based out of Naval Base Guam are submarine tenders USS Frank Cable (AS-40) and USS Emory S. Land (AS-39).
The submarines and tenders are maintained as part of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed submarine force and are capable of meeting global operational requirements.