KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia -- USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3) and embarked U.S. 7th Fleet Sailors and Marines arrived in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, May 21, as part of the U.S. 7th Fleet theater security cooperation (TSC) patrol.
The 7th Fleet team, consisting of more than 60 servicemembers including the U.S. 7th Fleet band and Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Pacific Marines, will host flag-level U.S.-Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) staff talks in Kota Kinabalu, and a number of band and community outreach projects.
“I can’t wait to visit Malaysia,” said Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Justin Greenwell. “I’ve never been to that part of Asia before, and look forward to experiencing a different kind of food, culture and traditions.”
The U.S. 7th Fleet TSC patrol began in Singapore this month with receptions and staff talks, aimed at enhancing relationships and partnerships throughout the Indo Pacific and demonstrating 7th Fleet’s commitment to the region.
“Throughout the planning process, our Malaysian hosts have been very receptive and accommodating,” said Capt. Bernie Wang, the 7th Fleet Plans and Theater Security Cooperation director and senior officer on the patrol. “I am confident that this will be an engaging port visit that will reflect our commitment to expanding cooperation in priority areas including maritime security, joint exercises and training, counterterrorism and information sharing between our forces. Our partnership with our Royal Malaysian Navy counterparts continues to grow.”
Seventh Fleet ships regularly engage with the RMN in annual exercises such as Pacific Partnership and Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Malaysia. They also train together in multilateral exercises such as Komodo and Malabar hosted by regional partners.
7th Fleet, which celebrates its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. 7th Fleet's area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 Sailors in the 7th Fleet.