USS Spruance
The USS Spruance in the Indian Ocean near the island of Diego Garcia. Navy photo

The San Diego-based guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance joined the Indian navy Monday in anti-submarine warfare training in the Indian ocean.

The exercise included the Spruance, P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft from the VP-8 “Fighting Tigers” based in Jacksonville, and Indian Indian Navy P-8I aircraft from Indian Naval Station Rajali.

“The U.S. Navy is committed to engaging with regional partners in establishing common practices and developing mutual capabilities. Spruance is proud to exercise alongside the Indian Navy,” said Cmdr. Matthew Smidt, commanding officer of the Spruance.

“We were greatly impressed by the professionalism and competency” of the Indian patrol aircraft, he said.  “The exercise was a wonderful experience and opportunity from which we learned and honed our skills.”

Lt. James Lowe, a pilot with VP-8, said the goal of the training is to “standardize our procedures so we can work more efficiently in future real-world operations.”

U.S. Navy ships and aircraft train routinely with the Indian navy between annual port visits and exercises like the annual Malabar. The Navy said these events reaffirm a shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.