BLUE BEACH, Malaysia – U.S. Marines and Sailors with 3rd Marine Division and members of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) participate in exercise Tiger Strike 2019 at Blue Beach, Malaysia, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4, 2019.
Tiger Strike 19 is a realistic, relevant and challenging exercise that brings U.S. and Malaysian forces closer and improves both nations’ ability to work bilaterally. This better prepares both nations to provide security and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
“In order to increase regional stability and security, we need to conduct these types of exercises with our partners,” said U.S. Marine Maj. Michael Thomas, the Deputy Officer in Charge of Tiger Strike 2019 and amphibious operation planner with 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. “These types of exercises not only increase our ability to plan and execute together, but it also strengthens our relationships at a personal level. Tiger Strike benefits the Navy-Marine Corps Team as much as it benefits the MAF. We are training and developing skills at the staff planner’s level down to the riflemen.”
Joint training between the U.S. and Malaysia covered jungle survival, combat rubber raiding craft usage, landing zone security/control, combat service support and an amphibious landing exercise where members of the MAF joined Marines aboard Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAV) and conducted a simulated amphibious assault on Blue Beach followed by a patrol into the jungles of Malaysia. Amphibious operations are vital to effective crisis response support, regional security and deterrence.
“They’re very humble and very intrigued to learn more,” said U.S. Marine Cpl. Maria Daume, a squad leader with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, currently attached to 3rd Marine Division. “They’re not the kind of people who think they know everything. The more knowledge they can get, the happier they are, and the Marine Corps is the same way. So it’s a very humbling experience to be able to work with them and I look forward to working with them in the future to make both armed forces better.”
Both the U.S. and Malaysia have a continuing interest in strengthening our partnership, and security and stability in the region.
“This is my first time doing this exercise with U.S. Marines,” said MAF Maj. Saidi Mokhtar, the Company Commander for B Co, 22 Royal Malay Regiment. “Conducting the assault with U.S. Marines was different than in our basic training. We usually conduct assaults on foot, so it was rare for us to do it coming out of an AAV. It was hot while waiting inside the AAV, but I was very excited to do the attacks using the vehicles.”
Other forms of training included mass casualty drills lead by U.S. Navy Sailors with Shock Trauma Platoon, 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group. Sailors brought Marines into their Battalion Aid Station (BAS) and guided them through the procedures that are taken in case of a casualty or injury. Sailors take advantage of field environments by refining and putting the skills they have learned in garrison to the test.
“The reason why we do training with, not only the corpsman, but with other Marines, is so that the Marines can help one another until a corpsman arrives if there isn’t a corpsman available,” said U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Cindy Gallego, a laboratory technician with Shock Trauma Platoon, 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group. “Performing mass casualty drills in front of the Malaysians lets them see the different supplies and techniques we use on casualties. It helps them understand how we get things done.”
Tiger Strike 2019 is a bilateral exercise that allows the two militaries to share tactics and procedures that help build and maintain combat readiness. It further enhances the MAF, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy's capability and proficiency to respond to crisis as a combined effort. It also provides valuable training while building comradery between partner nations.