Top US military official Vice Admiral William Douglas Crowder will visit Chennai and Port Blair during September 6-8, coinciding with the participation of the formation commanded by him in the biggest naval wargame hosted by India.
Crowder, who heads the US Seventh Fleet, will arrive in Chennai on September six, after which he will fly to Port Blair where he will stay till the completion of the Malabar Exercise in which warships from five countries India, Australia, Japan, Singapore and the US are participating, officials said.
The Seventh Fleet is the largest of the forward-deployed US fleets covering 52 million square miles, with nearly 50 ships, over 200 aircraft and 20,000 sailors and Marines assigned to it at any given time.
The Malabar exercise series has usually been a bilateral wargame between the Indian and US Navy. This year, the Indian Navy invited other countries to participate.
The exercise is aimed at increasing inter-operability among Indian, Australian, Japanese, Singaporean, and US maritime forces and at developing common understanding and procedures for maritime operations.
The at-sea training will include sea control operations, multi-carrier operations and the exercise of all major air, surface and subsurface maritime skill sets. The participants will also conduct personnel exchanges and professional discussions.