MALACCA STRAIT – Military personnel from Malaysia and the United States launched Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Malaysia 2021 virtually and into the waters and airspace of the Strait of Malacca on November 23.
The eight-day engagement focuses on the full spectrum of naval capabilities and features cooperative developments that highlight the ability of the United States and Malaysia to work together toward the common goal of ensuring an Indo-Pacific free and open.
“Our commitment to devote resources to exercises is a testament to our innate belief in the power to share responsibility for ensuring regional security,” said Rear Admiral Chris Engdahl, Commander of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7 and Force operational (CTF) 76 “MTA Malaysia 2021 represents another step forward. “
The at-sea phase will take place in the Strait of Malacca, where U.S. Navy assets will join Royal Malaysian Navy ships and aircraft for partnership training focused on building interoperability and strengthening relationships. The ships and aircraft of the US Navy include the littoral combatant USS Tulsa (LCS 16) and the embarked Sea Hawk MH-60S helicopter of the Maritime Helicopter Squadron (HSC) 21 and a P- aircraft 8A Poseidon assigned to CTF 72.
The exercise will include complex at-sea training to demonstrate the ability of the bilateral force to work together through numerous events, including divisional tactics designed to improve communication as ships navigate together in complex maneuvers. Other areas of interest include surface warfare, mobile dive and rescue training, sea refueling, gunnery practice, and exchanges between explosive ordnance disposal technicians.
“The MTA has not only strengthened the bilateral ties between our nations, but also increased mutual understanding and interoperability between the two navies,” said Vice Admiral Datuk Abu Bakar bin Md Ajis, commander of the Western Fleet, Royal Malaysian Navy.
U.S. personnel include personnel from CTF 72, CTF 73, CTF 75, CTF 76, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, US 7th Fleet Band and the United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Virtual Subject Matter Expert Exchange events will present a variety of joint training opportunities including Dive / Rescue Training, Aviation and Information Sharing, Force Protection, Maritime Awareness and maritime law and law enforcement.
Staff from the European Union’s Indo-Pacific Critical Maritime Routes Initiative (EU-CRIMARIO) intergovernmental organization will provide subject matter expertise to help understand the operational environment, and the 7th Fleet is keen to continue. this approach in future iterations.
At the opening ceremony, Engdahl spoke about the history of US-Malaysian cooperation and highlighted the foundation for successful partnerships.
“The US-Malaysian partnership builds on more than 60 years of rich history with close collaboration between the United States and the Royal Malaysian Navy in the areas of maritime security and humanitarian assistance / disaster relief. disaster, ”Engdahl said. “True partnership and progress require constant work. They require building trust, the courage to listen and learn from one another, and the courage to support one another in the face of common danger.
This year, MTA Malaysia resumed security mitigation measures after being canceled in 2020 due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Malaysia has been part of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) series of exercises since it began in 1995. MTA Malaysia 2021 is a continuation of 27 years of maritime engagements between the US Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy serving to enhance mutual capabilities by ensuring maritime security and stability.
As a forward deployed destroyer squadron of the US Navy in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 is the primary tactical and operational commander of the littoral combat vessels deployed in rotation to Singapore, functions as the combat commander of ESG 7, and establishes partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements.
Under the command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the 7th Fleet is the largest numbered forward deployed fleet of the US Navy, and regularly interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific region.