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NEWS | Sept. 10, 2021

Naval Special Warfare Wraps Up Special Operations Forces Phase of MALABAR with Partner Nations

By Ensign Amara Timberlake

SANTA RITA, GUAM -- U.S. Naval Special Warfare (NSW), Indian Navy Marine Commandos, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Special Boarding Units completed the special operations forces (SOF) phase of MALABAR 21 in Santa Rita, Guam, Sept. 5.

MALABAR 21 is a multilateral naval field training exercise between the Royal Australian Navy, Indian Navy, JMSDF, and U.S. Navy conducted to improve collective maritime capabilities and relationships.

“Our combined forces have a common understanding of a shared working environment at sea,” said U.S. Navy Capt. David Abernathy, commander, Naval Special Warfare Group 1. “Exercises like these provide practical, hands-on training between multinational special operations forces, allowing our forces to share our skills. Naval Special Warfare consistently looks for opportunities to enhance this ongoing professional partnership.”

The two-week SOF phase of MALABAR 21 focused on interoperability and information-sharing, to include practicing high-end tactics in complex maritime environments. The training scenarios allowed the operators to integrate with traditional fleet assets, both in port and at sea.

SOF teams participated in mission planning and close-quarters battle simulations that tested endurance and incorporated elements of combat-casualty care, hostage rescue, and improvised explosive devices.

The SOF phase of MALABAR 21 also included fast-rope, combat dive operations, maritime strike warfare, explosive ordnance disposal subject matter expert exchanges, and visit, board, search, and seizure drills.

U.S. 7th Fleet’s Task Force 75 (CTF 75) also participated in the exercise, hosting the urban combat training scenario and an explosive ordnance disposal subject matter expert exchange.

MALABAR 2021 is an example of the enduring partnership between Australian, Indian, Japanese and U.S. maritime forces, who routinely operate together in the Indo-Pacific, fostering a cooperative approach toward regional security and stability.

NSW is the nation's premier maritime special operations force and is uniquely positioned to extend the fleet's reach and deliver all-domain options for multinational forces.

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