U.S., Malaysia launch ‘Keris Strike’

| July 23, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photo by
1st Lt. Christina Douglas
9th Mission Support Command Public Affairs

Brig. Gen. Michele Compton, commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve’s 9th Mission Support Command, greets leaders of the Malaysian armed Forces at the opening ceremony of exercise “Keris Strike” in Camp Kuantan, July 12. KUANTAN, Malaysia — A bilateral command post exercise designed to strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and Malaysia officially got underway with an opening ceremony at Camp Kuantan, here, July 12.

Hosted by the Malaysian armed forces and sponsored by U.S. Army-Pacific, “Keris Strike 2010” is designed to not only strengthen the U.S./Malaysian relationship, but to build on peace support operational capacity.

Leading the U.S. effort is the U.S. Army Reserve’s 9th Mission Support Command, which serves as the executive agent for Keris Strike. The 9th MSC provides operational control, logistical coordination planning and life support for participants and key personnel for the 14th annual event. This year is the fourth the 9th MSC has served as the executive agent.

Keris Strike allows Soldiers to participate in academic training, a mini-staff exercise and a command post exercise while strengthening their relationships by competing in sporting events and enjoying cultural activities.

“This is an excellent opportunity for us to continue to build on our relationship with the Malaysian Armed Forces,” said Brig. Gen. Michele Compton, commanding general, 9th MSC. “There’s a lot we can learn from each other. Both the U.S. and the Malaysian militaries each have a lot of experiences we can share, which continue to deepen the friendships we’ve developed over the years.”

The commanding general of Malaysia’s 3rd Division expressed the same enthusiasm about strengthening the military-to-military bond between the U.S. and Malaysia.

“I am extremely pleased to note that both the United States and the Malaysian (armies) have been able to work closely in this exercise,” said Maj. Gen. Dato Razali Bin Hj Ahmad. “The planning and the conduct of this exercise are a clear manifestation and expression of our intimate military ties in cooperation. I strongly believe that this special relationship will continue, and we will work hard to ensure it serves the interest of our countries.”

Lt. Col Kimo Dunn, commander of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment, 9th MSC, has participated in Keris Strike for the five iterations. He said the relationships he has developed with Malaysians have grown stronger each year.

“I see some of the same faces each year I come back,” Dunn said. “Each year we get better at making the exercise more efficient, and each year we continue to further enhance our partnership with the Malaysian armed forces.”

Lt. Col Karl Wright, deputy brigade commander, 204th MEB, said Soldiers from the U.S. and Malaysia are teamed up and ready for the mission.

“Our aim is to learn from our Malaysian counterparts and draw from each other’s experiences,” Wright said. “We are learning to fight the language barrier, have patience in learning each others’ military decision-making process, and figure out how to come together and plan to achieve mission success.”

“I’m really looking forward to getting to know the Malaysians and seeing how other armies do their jobs,” said Pfc. Michelle Acosta, 9th MSC. “I think that by seeing what they do and their reaction to the situation, it will teach me (other aspects of my job).”

In addition to the 9th MSC, participating units playing a key role in the training exercise include members of Utah’s National Guard, the 204th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade; Guam’s National Guard, the 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment; Washington state’s National Guard, the 56th Theater Information Operation Group; Korea’s 411th Contracting Support Brigade; Hawaii’s 413th Contracting Support Brigade; and USARPAC.

Exercise Keris Strike 2010 is scheduled to conclude today.

Category: Exercises, News

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