US and Malaysian navies to conduct joint exercises

3 December 2015 (Last Updated December 3rd, 2015 18:30)

The US and Malaysian navies have agreed to review and establish plans for joint training and exercises in 2016 and beyond.

The US and Malaysian navies have agreed to review and establish plans for joint training and exercises in 2016 and beyond.

The US Navy has hosted a tour to sailors of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) at Submarine Squadron 15 headquarters on Polaris Point, Guam, to demonstrate how the submariners live and work on board.

The Malaysian sailors were taken through the guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) and training facilities at Submarine Squadron 15.

"Ashore our cultures are different, but underwater they're very well aligned. I see a great future for our two navies."

RMN Submarine Force commander rear admiral Abdul Rahman said: "We are a young submarine force. We've learned a lot through these talks and training, especially on safety. I think it's wonderful."

The meeting ended with the signing of an action item agreement between the two countries.

Under the agreed terms, the US Navy and RMN will work on improving and expanding their collaboration.

US Submarine Group 7 rear admiral William Merz said: "Ashore our cultures are different, but underwater they're very well aligned. I see a great future for our two navies. RMN has exactly what you look for in an ally."

The agreement comes a few weeks after Malaysia agreed to offer the port of Kota Kinabalu on north-east Borneo for the Chinese navy.

The port is close to the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Malaysia has offered its port to China, reportedly to be on a neutral ground.

China has been opposing the presence of the US force around the islands, which is a point of contention between China and other neighbouring countries.

Meanwhile, RMN chief admiral Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin has called for an expanded Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) in the wake of ongoing South China Sea disputes.

According to IHS Jane's, the expansion of the CUES is aimed at further preventing possible escalation of incidents in South China Sea.