Malaysian, U.S. forces open Keris Strike 13 with ceremony

| September 27, 2013 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Muhamad Ridzwan (left) of the Malaysian Jungle Warfare Wing Training Center watches Master Sgt. Alex Garcia, 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, make fire using only a metal blade, a rock and dried plants during the Survival Village demonstrations segment of Exercise Keris Strike 13, Sept. 19.

Staff Sgt. Muhamad Ridzwan (left) of the Malaysian Jungle Warfare Wing Training Center watches Master Sgt. Alex Garcia, 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, make fire using only a metal blade, a rock and dried plants during the Survival Village demonstrations segment of Exercise Keris Strike 13, Sept. 19.

Story and photos by
Staff Sgt. Sean Everette
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

LAPANGAN TERBAND CAMP, Malaysia — Members of the U.S. and Malaysian armies gathered together to begin Exercise Keris Strike 13 with a ceremony at Sungai Petani, Kedah, Sept. 17.

Keris Strike is an annual U.S. Army-Pacific sponsored Theater Security Cooperation Program exercise conducted with the Malaysian Armed Forces.

This year marks the 17th time the two countries have partnered for this exercise. The main purpose of Keris Strike is to strengthen the military-to-military ties between the U.S. and Malaysian armed forces while conducting Peace Support Operations and Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief, as well as medical first responder and counter-improvised explosive device training.

Supported by the 9th Mission Support Command, Pacific Army Reserve and the 56th Theater Intelligence Operations Group of the Washington Army National Guard, 25th Infantry Division and its 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team are taking the U.S. forces lead for the exercise.

As host of the opening ceremony, Maj. Gen. Dato Mohd Shukuri bin Ahmad, commander, Malaysian army 2nd Inf. Div., welcomed Brig. Gen. Pete Johnson, deputy commander, 25th ID operations, and Col. Thomas Mackey, commander, 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, and U.S. deputy co-director for the exercise.

“This exercise is the manifestation and expression of our intimate military ties and cooperation,” said Shukuri during his opening remarks. “It is also an avenue to further strengthen the existing relationship between the troops from the United States Army and the Malaysian Army Field Command that we have enjoyed over these years.”

This year is the first time in more than 10 years that U.S. active duty Soldiers have had a major role in Keris Strike. Because of the end of operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn and the drawing down of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, U.S. forces in the Pacific are able to refocus and bring an active duty perspective to the event.

“It is very important for our Army to understand the Pacific area, in particular the very strategic area that Malaysia sits in,” said Johnson. “So, we come here with open thoughts about learning what we can about the setting, the populations, the people, the culture, the history … and understand that, should we be called to come together with the Malaysian army, we could operate together very effectively.”

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Category: News, Sustainability, Training

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