US, Malaysia start Maritime Training Activity exercise

US Navy and Coast Guard ships arrived in Malaysia on August 13 for the start of Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Malaysia 2019.

US ships taking part include the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS 8), US Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752), Safeguard-class salvage ship USNS Salvor (ARS 52) and expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3).

In addition, the US will be supported by the US 7th Fleet Band.

Royal Malaysian Navy assets include Lekiu-class frigate KD Lekiu (F30) and Kasturi-class corvette KD Kasturi (FSG 25), RMN Diving Unit, CB90 fast assault craft, a Super Lynx helicopter and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) vessel KM Marlin.

The Pacific Area commander for the US Coast Guard, Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, said that working alongside the US Navy and international partners in this exercise is an important part of their mission in the Indo-Pacific. “We are proud to operate with our Malaysian partners, and together we are dedicated to strengthening maritime governance and security in support of peace and prosperity throughout the region.”

This year also marks 62 years of diplomatic partnership between the US and Malaysia.

Vice Admiral Dato’ Aris Adi Tan Bin Abdullah, commander of Royal Malaysian Navy Western Fleet, said the conduct of this MTA is significant because in addition to the US Navy and Royal Malaysian Navy, it is the first time this exercise has involved the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the US Coast Guard.

At-sea, participants will engage in hands-on training in visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS), mobile dive and salvage, a gunnery exercise, maritime patrol operations and Replenishment at-sea. Onshore, there will be subject matter exchanges in aviation, woman’s leadership, damage control, military law, public affairs, and medicine.

Photo: USCGC Stratton (WMSL 752) pulls into Lumut Naval Base near USS Montgomery (LCS 8) for a scheduled port visit on August 13 as part of Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Malaysia 2019. Photo: US Navy