NEWS | July 30, 2018

U.S. Army Experts Train with Malaysian Soldiers

By Spc. Alec Dionne 122nd Public Affairs Operations Center  

CAMP SENAWANG, Malaysia -- Technical expertise is critical in a modern military and global threats require precision, innovation and expediency. One such training event was led by Willie Hernandez, Special Agent, Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Army Pacific Command. Over three days they trained Malaysian military police in the art of investigating crime scenes such as after an improvised explosive device detonation.

“On the first day at status training, our soldiers didn’t know what to do,” said Malaysian Lt. Col. Zaki Mastar with the Criminal Investigation Division, Military Police, who oversaw the Malaysian effort during the training. “Now after the class given by the special agent, they perform well.”

The culmination of the training event was a simulated car bomb, which was detonated by Col. Anthony Lieggi, Commander, 96th Troop Command, Washington Army National Guard, whose unit is administrating Keris Strike 2018.

“It’s fun to be part of an exercise, and having the opportunity to be in it is even better,” said Lieggi. “Seeing them come together from yesterday’s classroom discussion, to actual implementation of that class is really good…because what you learned yesterday gets reinforced.”

Additional subject matter expert exchanges included training in preventative medicine. At the request of the Malaysian Army, experts from the Public Health Command, Pacific Region from Joint Base Lewis-McChord came to Keris Strike to help instruct officials, medical technicians, and doctors from the Malaysian Ministry of Health.

“They’ve been really receptive to this training,” said Maj. Joanne Medina, Public Health Command, Pacific Region. “We had the opportunity to do about three days of hands on training, water and soil sampling equipment.”

“This has been such an amazing opportunity to share ideas, this is definitely something that we want to continue,” said Medina.