LAHAD DATU, Malaysia -- Members of the United States military and Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) come together for several days of training aboard USS Green Bay (LPD 20), on the beach, and in the jungle during the bilateral exercise Tiger Strike 19 in Malaysia from Sept. 30 - Oct. 5, 2019.
“What a superb opportunity it is for our Sailors and Marines to work with our Malaysian Armed Forces partners,” said Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7. “Having operated a number of times with the Malaysian Armed Forces during my career, I am excited to build on the friendships we have with our peers in Malaysia and forge new ones. This kind of training allows us to improve our communications and strengthen partnerships, truly enhancing security and stability in an incredibly important region of the world.”
The U.S. military and MAF have partnered in counter-terrorism operations since 1985 and have participated in numerous exercises over the years.
“Tiger Strike is a great opportunity for U.S. Marines and Sailors to interact with soldiers from the Malaysian Armed Forces and share their respective cultures,” said Col. Fridrik Fridriksson, the commanding officer of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “It allows us to bring the best of what the ARG/MEU has to offer and use it side by side with our Malaysian partners, increasing combat readiness and enhancing coordination for both countries.”
The exercise began with an opening ceremony aboard Green Bay, complete with Marines and Sailors hosting Malaysian distinguished visitors for a ship tour.
Tiger Strike 19 will include approximately 370 service members from the MAF and approximately 700 U.S. Marines and Sailors from the III Marine Expeditionary Force and Expeditionary Strike Group 7, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).
Tiger Strike 19 focuses on strengthening joint military interoperability and on increasing readiness by practicing for humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, amphibious and jungle warfare operations, all while fostering cultural exchanges between the MAF and the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team.
Combined training between the U.S. and Malaysian forces will launch from the USS Green Bay (LPD 20) and the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) and will include jungle warfare training with the MEU’s ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 3/5; close air support conducted by AV-8B Harriers with the MEU’s air combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 163 (Reinforced); and combat service support from the 11th MEU’s Combat Logistics Battalion 11. The exercise will also include an aerial insertion of Marines and Sailors and Tactical Air-Control Party (TACP) operations.
“The fact that we are here at this moment reflects the result of untiring dedicated back room work effort by both armed forces towards our common betterment,” said Lt. Gen. Dato’ Wira Zambrose bin Mohd Zain, Army Field Eastern Commander, Malaysian Armed Forces.
“Such an exercise offers a platform to capitalize on our collective knowledge and experience in developing our common capabilities and advancing opportunities to achieve our shared security objectives within the region.”