Defence

‘Invaluable’ addition — US Senators welcome inclusion of Australia in Malabar naval exercise

US Senator David Perdue along with a bipartisan group of senators wrote a letter to Ambassador of India to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu to express their support of India’s decision to formally invite Australia to participate in the annual Malabar exercise.

The letter was signed by US Senators Marsha Blackburn, Chris Coons, John Cornyn, Kevin Cramer, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, James Lankford, Kelly Loeffler, Martha McSally, Marco Rubio, Dan Sullivan, Thom Tillis and Mark Warner.

The naval exercise was started in 1992 as a bilateral exercise between the Indian Navy and the US Navy, after which Japan joined in 2015.

Talks had been on for over a decade to include Australia in the exercise, and the decision was taken in 2019, but India was not keen to formally announce it, due to escalating tensions China, which has had close ties with Australia. This year, the Malabar exercise will take place in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

“From an operational perspective, the addition of such a uniquely capable and stalwart partner, like Australia, to this naval exercise is invaluable, providing increased interoperability

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