Malaysian, US forces train together during Tiger Strike 16

Sailors and marines aboard the U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) joined members of the Malaysian Armed Forces for exercise Tiger Strike 16 in Lahad Datu, Malaysia, Nov. 10-13.

Tiger Strike 16, formally known as MALFEX (Malaysia – United States Amphibious Exercise), is a Malaysia-led, bilateral training exercise between the Malaysian Forces and U.S. forces with emphasis on increasing combat readiness and conducting amphibious operations within the context of stability and security operations.

Tiger Strike allowed participating forces to share their training practices, conduct a bilateral amphibious landing, and improve communication and coordination.

Makin Island Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Melson said the amphibious assault ship brought added training value to the exercise.

“With Makin Island’s ship-to-shore capability, U.S. and Malaysian forces were able to rehearse the planning and execution of a variety of amphibious scenarios, whether that was a combat operation or humanitarian assistance mission,” said Melson.

Members of the Makin Island and 11th MEU medical departments, along with embarked Fleet Surgical Team Five (FST 5) personnel, provided medical facility tours and familiarization events aboard Makin Island. U.S. and Malaysian medical personnel also conducted a bilateral medical civil affairs project at a local clinic near Lahad Datu.

Aboard Makin Island, the 11th MEU conducted operational planning evolutions with their counterparts of the 7th Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment. While training ashore, Marines and soldiers focused on jungle survival, non-lethal weapons, the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, helicopter loading and offloading drills, landing zone security and control, and combat service support.

The exercise included approximately 300 soldiers from the 7th Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment and 300 U.S. Marines and Sailors from the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th MEU.