Chennai: The four-day joint Naval exercise `MALABAR 2013` in the Bay of Bengal between the US and India, providing an opportunity to advance multinational maritime relationship and mutual security issues, began on Thursday.
This is the first time missile-guided destroyer U S S McCampbell is participating with the Indian Navy in the joint exercise in the Indian Ocean, official sources said.
U S S McCampbell, which berthed at the Chennai Port Trust on Sunday last, is equipped with several weapon systems including Mk34 Gun Weapon System, Tomahawk missile, anti-submarine rocket launcher, surface search radar and anti-ship missiles.
"The ship is making a routine port visit, intended to provide the sailors of the U S S McCampbell an opportunity for engagement with their Indian Navy counterparts and for cultural exchange," a press statement from US Consulate said.
U S S McCampbell was the first to offer support to the people in North Japan when the tsunami struck two years ago claiming many lives and rendering many homeless.
The ship`s crew as part of the visit participated in community relationships in Chennai which included a visit to famous temples and shrines, besides participating in a cricket match.
MALABAR is a regularly scheduled bilateral naval field training exercise and the latest is conducted to "advance multinational maritime relationship and mutual security issues."