he Indian and the US navies conducted a joint exercise in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in a strong strategic message to China amid confrontation in eastern Ladakh.
The Passage Exercise near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands involved the United States’ Carrier Strike Group (CSG) led by aircraft carrier Nimitz and units of Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet and Andaman and Nicobar Command. World’s largest aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) along with Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104) and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) participated in joint naval exercises.
The ‘Passage Exercise’ includes a shorter form of interaction where the two sides have established interoperability. The maneuvers carried out in such an exercise involve a simulated environment. Both Indian Navy and the US Navy also conducted high-end exercises designed to maximize training and interoperability, including air defense. The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is currently deployed to the Indian Ocean in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Four frontline warships of the Indian Navy participated in the “PASSEX” exercise when the US carrier strike group was transiting through the Indian Ocean Region on its way from the South China Sea. The Indian Navy ships were INS Rana (Destroyer), stealth frigates Sahyadri and Shivalik and Kamorta (anti-submarine Corvettes). China in recent years has increased its maritime operations in the IOR with a deployment of around eight warships on anti-piracy missions. Using the same mission, China has sent its submarines, both nuclear and conventional.