Elite Indian Navy Marine Commando Force personnel train alongside US Naval Special Warfare operators wrapped up three weeks of joint exercises on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, in the Indian state of Goa. US Navy photo.
US Naval Special Warfare operators and India's elite Marine Commando Force have wrapped up three weeks of tough training.
The joint exercise ended Thursday, Dec. 22, in the Indian state of Goa. The maneuvers were designed to showcase real-world special warfare missions and included tactical weapons training, close-quarter combat drills, military free-fall jumps, helicopter insertions, and maritime boat operations, officials said.
Confronting a rising China, military leaders in the Indo-Pacific region consider joint special warfare ops by US personnel and India's MARCOS a cornerstone for a larger maritime strategy.
“We consistently look for opportunities to enhance this ongoing professional partnership,” said Rear Adm. Jeromy Williams, the commander of US Special Operations Command Pacific, in a prepared statement. “The US-India defense partnership is critical to securing a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Seaman Sarah Hunter and Boatswain’s Mate Gracie Kuhns chock and chain an SH-60 helicopter attached to Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Asahi-class guided-missile destroyer Shiranui after it lands on the US Navy's guided-missile destroyer Milius in the Philippine Sea during exercise Malabar 2022, Nov. 14, 2022. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Richard Cho.
The bilateral training built upon a larger exercise in November that featured US and Indian special operators teamed with Japan’s elite Special Boarding Unit.
The Malabar 2022 war games ran from Nov. 8 to Nov. 15 and included a series of special operations exercises in the Philippine Sea focusing on maritime interdiction and combat casualty care.
But the special warfare training took a back seat to a much larger display of naval and air power.
Hosted by Japan, Malabar 2022 brought together the US Navy’s Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and Destroyer Squadron 16; the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s helicopter destroyer Hyūga, replenishment ship Ōmi, and guided-missile destroyers Shiranui and Takanami; plus the Royal Australian Navy’s guided-missile frigate Arunta, oiler Stalwart, and Collins-class submarine Farncomb.
"Through this high-end tactical exercise, we were able to improve our tactical capabilities and strengthen cooperation with the US, India, and Australian navies, thereby contributing to the creation of a desirable security environment for Japan,” said Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Adm. Ikeuchi Izuru, the commander of Escort Flotilla 3, in a prepared statement. “I also believe that this exercise embodied the firm and united will of the four countries toward the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific."
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Carl Prine is a former senior editor at Coffee or Die Magazine. He has worked at Navy Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
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