KG TANDOU, Malaysia --
Marines and sailors with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and members of the Malaysian Armed Forces officially completed Malaysia -United States Amphibious Exercise 2014 (MALUS AMPHEX 14) at Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia, Sept. 2, 2014.
MALUS AMPHEX 14 was a realistic and challenging exercise that brought service members closer and improved both nations’ abilities to work bilaterally, and provide regional and global security.
The exercise was designed to foster and sustain cooperative and international relationships with an emphasis on amphibious and humanitarian operations within the context of a stability and security operation.
'One of the most important things is America’s ability to create relationships and re-establish or rekindle relationships with foreign nations,” said Capt. Larry Iverson Jr., commanding officer of Echo Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 11th MEU. “I think we’ve been successful with that in this operation. For us, this means more than just teaching the Malaysians about amphibious operations. When we walk away from here, the Malaysians are going to think back to this experience and say, ‘hey, the guys we worked with were really good people.’”
Throughout the exercise, approximately 550 Marines and sailors with the 11th MEU partnered with members of the 7th and 22nd Royal Malay Regiments. Planners from Amphibious Squadron 5 and the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group also participated in the coordination of amphibious operations with the Malaysian Armed Forces.
11th MEU and MAF executed operational training evolutions incorporating shipboard familiarization, weapons familiarization, amphibious rehearsals with ship-to-shore connectors, live-fire ranges, rapid response planning process, and execution of an amphibious assault.
MALUS AMPHEX 14 also included a two-day medical and dental outreach project, which provided patient care to local civilians. Marines and sailors from Combat Logistics Battalion 11, 11th MEU, partnered with the Royal Malaysian Medical Corps, treated 335 medical and 172 dental patients during the two days of operations.
At the same time, CLB-11 Marines partnered with the Royal Malaysian Engineer Regiment to conduct a general engineering project at Tanjung Labian, Sabah, where engineers refurbished bleachers, sepak takraw courts, and the local community center.
At the closing ceremony, Lt. Gen. John Toolan, commander U. S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, congratulated both forces for having a successful bilateral training exercise and spoke on the partnership between the U.S. and Malaysian forces.
“I am particularly proud of the professionalism and teamwork demonstrated between the Royal Malaysian 7th and 22nd Regiment forces and the Marines and sailors of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and USS Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group.”
The success of the exercise left all participants with a desire for future collaboration between the U.S. and MAF. The 11th MEU will continue to transit through the U.S. Seventh Fleet area of operation in support of their WESTPAC 14-2 deployment.