US Navy conducts international live-fire surface engagement exercise in Philippine Sea

According to news published by the U.S. Navy on November 11, 2020, U.S. Navy USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) conducted live-fire surface and air exercises in the Bay of Bengal as part of exercise MALABAR while USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), in the Philippine Sea, joined the Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Winnipeg (FFH 338) during a live-fire surface engagement exercise.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) fires its mark 45 5-inch gun during a live-fire gunnery exercise with ships from multiple nations as part of Malabar 2020.(Picture source U.S. Navy)

U.S. Navy USS McCain joined ships from the Indian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) for a coordinated live-fire air gunnery exercise, targeting a towed aerial target, followed by a similar surface engagement during scheduled events for MALABAR.

On the same morning, more than 3,000 miles away, Curtis Wilbur joined HMCS Winnipeg of the Royal Canadian Navy during a live-fire gunnery exercise to engage an unmanned, remote-operated surface target. Exercises such as these allow for practical training while exchanging skills and cultures and increasing understanding of multinational operations.

Participants in both exercises include USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), along with Indian Navy Ships Shakti (A57), Ranvijay (D55), Shivalik (F47), HMAS Ballarat (FFG 155), from the RAN (Royal Australian Navy), JS Ōnami (DD 111) from the JMSDF, and HMCS Winnipeg (FFH 338) from the Royal Canadian Navy.

USS John S. McCain DDG 56 and USS Curtis Wilbur DDG 54 are underway conducting operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific, while assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy's largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet's principal surface force.

USS John S. McCain and Curtis Wilbur are Arleigh Burke-class 5ddg 51° Flight I guided missile destroyer in service with the U.S. Navy. Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are equipped with Aegis combat system that integrates the ship’s sensors and weapon systems to engage anti-ship missile threats.

The Indian Navy ships involved in the MALABAR naval exercise include the Shakti (A57) Deepak-class fleet tanker, Ranvijay (D55) Rajput-class destroyer, and Shivalik (F47) stealth multi-role frigates. The Australian army has deployed the HMAS Ballarat Anzac Class frigate. Other foreign ships at the MALABAR exercise comes from Japan with the JS Ōnami (DD 111) Takanami-class destroyer and HMCS Winnipeg Halifax-class frigate from the Canadian navy.