- Malaysia and the US have concluded a maritime exercise that saw inaugural participation of vessels from the respective countries' coastguard services
- The activity is in line with the US Coast Guard's intention to expand its engagement with partner countries across the Asia-Pacific region
The naval and coastguard services of Malaysia and the United States marked a new level of maritime interoperability between the two countries with the conclusion of a bilateral exercise known as the '2019 Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Malaysia'.
The drills, which are an evolution of the annual 'Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT)' series of naval exercises between the two countries, were concluded after five days of various activities in and around waters off Lumut, Malaysia, on 18 August.
The exercise saw the inaugural participation of vessels from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the US Coast Guard (USCG).
Representing the MMEA at the exercise was the Marlin-class training vessel KM Marlin (4001), while the USCG took part in the drills with the Legend-class national security cutter USCGC Stratton (752).
Also taking part in the drills were the US Navy's (USN's) Independence-variant littoral combat ship, USS Montgomery (LCS 8), Safeguard-class salvage ship USNS Salvor (ARS 52), expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3), and a MH-60S Seahawk helicopter.
Meanwhile, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) deployed its Lekiu-class frigate, KD Lekiu (30), and its Kasturi-class corvette, KD Kasturi (25), and various other support units to the activity.
At-sea exercises that were conducted during 'MTA Malaysia 2019' included visit, board, search-and-seizure (VBSS) practices, mobile dive and salvage operations, maritime patrol serials, replenishment-at-sea activities, and a gunnery exercise.
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