The US Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) have commenced bilateral exercise Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Malaysia 2017 at Lumut Naval Base.

The activity will see the participation of approximately 300 sailors from the two navies aboard the US Navy’s littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4), and the Malaysian Navy’s Kasturi-class corvette KD Lekir (F26) and Lekiu-class frigate KD Lekiu (F30).

Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 deputy commodore captain Matthew Jerbi said: “The US and Royal Malaysian navies maintain a close and unique partnership that continues to grow and evolve with each bilateral and multilateral exercise.

“MTA Malaysia is just one of many opportunities for both navies to work closely together toward cooperatively ensuring regional maritime security and stability.”

The exercise comprises both ashore and at-sea activities, demonstrating the commitment of the US and Malaysian navies in deploying learned techniques and tactics while operating jointly at sea.

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"We look forward to sharing knowledge and experiences while operating side-by-side during MTA Malaysia."

Sailors from the two navies will also engage in visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) training, division tactics (DIVTACS) to improve cooperative fleet manoeuvres, gunnery exercise (GUNNEX), flight operations with the US Navy's MH-60S and Royal Malaysian Navy's Super Lynx helicopters, and a search and rescue exercise (SAREX).

USS Coronado commanding officer commander Douglas Meagher said: “The Royal Malaysian Navy maintains a sophisticated and professional force.

“We look forward to sharing knowledge and experiences while operating side-by-side during MTA Malaysia.”

DESRON 7 has tactical control of LCSs deployed to South East Asia in support of Task Force 73 in the execution of maritime exercises, such as the CARAT, Naval Engagement Activity (NEA), MTA and South East Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) exercise series with Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Image: The US Navy’s littoral combat ship USS Coronado. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Third Class Deven Leigh Ellis / Released.