United States Current Affairs - 2019

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Malabar Exercise 2019: India, Japan, US Naval Exercise begins

The Malabar Exercise 2019, the trilateral maritime exercise between navies of India, Japan and the US began off the coast of Japan. The year 2019 is the 23rd edition of Malabar Exercise.

Key Highlights

Indian Navy: Two frontline indigenously designed and built Indian naval ships participating in exercise are- INS Sahyadri, a multi-purpose guided-missile frigate and INS Kiltan, a ASW (anti-submarine warfare) Corvette. In addition to ships, a P8I (Poseidon Eight India) Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft has also reached Japan for the exercise.

The US Navy: It is being represented by USS McCampbell (DDG-85), a Los Angeles-Class Attack Submarine, and a ‘P8A‘ Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

Japan Navy: known as The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF). It is participating with its JS Kaga, a Izumo class helicopter destroyer, JS Samidare and Choukai, a guided-missile destroyers and a ‘P1’ Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

During the harbour phase, the three partner navies would conduct sports fixtures, official protocol visits, reciprocal ship visits, professional interactions in subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE) and social events.

Significance

Malabar 2019 exercise seeks to further strengthen India-Japan-US naval cooperation and enhance interoperability, based on shared values and principles. The exercise involves complex maritime operations in surface, sub-surface and air domains. It also focuses on maritime interdiction operations (MIO), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-air and anti-surface firings. Apart from these it also includes visit board search and seizure (VBSS) and tactical scenario-based exercise at sea.

Thus the participation of Indian naval ships and aircraft in the trilateral exercise would significantly bolster strong maritime bonds of friendship between three participant countries and at the same time it would contribute towards security and stability in region.

Howdy Modi event held in Houston, Texas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi played host to United States President Donald Trump at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, for an Indian-American rally dubbed the ‘Howdy Modi: Shared Dreams, Bright Futures’. The mega ‘Howdy, Modi’ gala event saw around 50,000 Indian-Americans in attendance. Before this event, no US President has ever addressed a community event along with an Indian Prime Minister.

Key Highlights of ‘Howdy Modi event’

The event highlighted the sharp shift in Indian diplomacy and new levels of India-US bilateral relations. It also sent out a very strong message- that US-led by Donald Trump is standing firmly with India in its fight against terrorism.

PM Modi and Trump went way out of way to show their unparalleled camaraderie. The event showcased heightened friendship and warmth between India and leader of one of the most powerful nations in world.

It also showed how US is interested in exploring new avenues of cooperation with India.

Why Texas? As part of the event, PM Modi addressed 50,000 Indian-Americans in Houston, which is reportedly the largest gathering ever for a foreign leader visiting US. As per Pew Research Center analysis of US Census data, the US is home to nearly 4 million Indian-Americans, including about 300,000 in Houston and nearby Dallas.

Organizer: The event is being organised by Texas India Forum (TIF), Inc, which is a non-profit organisation that brings together Indian-American institutions and organisations in order to promote collaboration within region and develop opportunities for engagement with India. The event has been organised with the help of over 1,000 volunteers and 650 Texas-based Welcome Partner organisations.