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NEWS | Aug. 10, 2023

11th Airborne Division CG Speaks at Closing of Keris Strike 23

By Staff Sgt. Michael Sword,

Maj. Gen. Brian Eifler, commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division, traveled to Malaysia to visit soldiers and give remarks at the closing ceremony for Keris Strike 23, Aug. 4, 2023.

Keris Strike 23, a bilateral military exercise in its 28th year, featured approximately 3,000 Malaysian and U.S. service members training together through military police tactics, explosive ordnance disposal, medical operations, and jungle survival.

“We need people all around the world who put themselves aside and serve for a greater cause,” Eifler said. “I am thankful we have people just like us in every nation, especially this nation, serving as a volunteer against a possible threat.”

The exercise also included a community outreach event and cultural day to provide U.S. Soldiers with a more holistic training experience and a chance to further build relationships with their Malaysian partners.

"It is not only about professional development, but is about people to people," said Malaysian Lt. Gen. Dato Tengku Fauzi, Malaysian Army Western Field Commander.

Serving in the 11th Airborne Division requires Soldiers and leaders to be adaptable, critical thinkers who can survive in the ever-changing conditions of the Arctic. As the Indo-Pacific grows in strategic importance, events like KS 23 give the Arctic Angels a chance to test and share those skills and lessons from living and working in one of the world’s most challenging environments.

As the soldiers from 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 11th Airborne Division, head back to their home at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, more division soldiers are preparing to leave to support partners, allies, and multinational exercises throughout the Indo-Pacific and beyond.

"Thank you for being a good partner, and serving your nation,” said Eifler. “Relationships matter, winning matters, and these relationships we build together are what will lead to our success.”

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