The amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45) and the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit concluded the 2014 Malaysia – United States Amphibious Exercise in Malaysia, Sept. 2.
The nine-day long exercise, code-named MALUS AMPHEX, spanned from the Sulu Sea to the eastern beaches of Malaysia, aiming to help fortify the relationship between Malaysia and U.S. forces.
Leaders aboard San Diego emphasized the importance of building and enabling partnerships with nations such as Malaysia.
“Anytime you work with a foreign navy, whether it’s right next door in Canada or over in the Sulu Sea, you are going to learn things from them that you wouldn’t normally know,” said Capt. John Menoni, San Diego’s commanding officer.
The integrated operation also provided Malaysian and U.S. forces an opportunity for bilateral training with a focus on amphibious force development.
“The Malaysians are interested in a Marine Corps like the U.S. and the development of a rapid response system,” said Lt. j.g. Joshua Paulaitis, MALUS AMPHEX Navy Liaison for Commander, Amphibious Squadron Five.
MALUS AMPHEX consisted of combined security force training, civil engineering and construction, and humanitarian services such as the Medical and Dental Civic Action Program. Both teams trained side-by-side in an effort to enrich the local community and reinforce regional and international security.
Additionally, San Diego and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) showcased their land and sea capabilities during ship-to-shore amphibious demonstrations. San Diego’s landing craft air cushion (LCAC) and rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBs), offered the transportation of personnel and supplies while the MEU provided expertise on construction, engineering and force protection.
Press Release, September 08, 2014; Image: US Navy