CPX strengthens military bonds

| October 4, 2013 | 0 Comments
Maj. Anthony Forshier (back, standing), 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, addresses a conference during the CPX, Sept. 23.

Maj. Anthony Forshier (back, standing), 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, addresses a conference during the CPX, Sept. 23.

Story and photos by
Staff Sgt. Sean Everette

2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

LAPANGAN TERBANG CAMP, Malaysia — The nations of Lanuland and Struland have a fragile peace, and they have been separated by a demilitarized zone (DMZ).

Malaysia borders these countries on the north and east, and has combined with the U.S. to form the 6th Multinational Brigade (MNB) in order to perform peacekeeping operations between the two countries.

A portion of the joint combined staff of the U.S. and Malaysian militaries works at the Tactical Operations Center during the CPX.

A portion of the joint combined staff of the U.S. and Malaysian militaries works at the Tactical Operations Center during the CPX.

Just as a plan has been formed to end the conflict and phase out the DMZ, a terrible earthquake strikes Malaysia. The Malaysian military has to pull out of the 6th MNB, and the U.S. commits to helping its Malaysian partners.

Thankfully, there really is no earthquake or conflict, or even countries called Lanuland and Struland.

This scenario is just what the U.S. and Malaysian militaries worked through for the Command Post Exercise (CPX) during Keris Strike 13, here, recently.

Keris Strike is an exercise of the U.S. Army-Pacific-sponsored Theater Security Cooperation Program conducted annually with the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF).

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 MAF while conducting peace support operations and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, as well as medical first responder and counter-IED training. The CPX acts as the capstone for the entire event.

“This is just one step in our evolution, making us a better combat force,” said Maj. Colin Davis, civil affairs officer, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

“Being that the 25th ID is in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility, it only makes sense to work with the Malaysians,” Davis continued. “They’re a very strong, capable military, and if anything were to happen in the Pacific area, the U.S. and the Malaysians would both react.

Maj. Cheree Browne (right), 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, talks with two media role-players during the CPX.

Maj. Cheree Browne (right), 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, talks with two media role-players during the CPX.

“Anything we can do to build that relationship — know how each other works, build that partnership — is only going to benefit us in the future,” Davis added.

“If something unfortunate happens and we’re forced to use our military might, we know that we have our brothers and sisters from Malaysia on our left and that they are a competent force we can work with and succeed with.”

During the CPX, both countries had the opportunity to observe how the other country worked through various issues that arose.

“From one country to another country, we should have this kind of exercise to enhance our knowledge, especially in a military way,” said Capt. Nur Izanny binti Iyni, intelligence officer, 6th Inf. Bde., 2nd ID. “Even though we are not using the same doctrine as you, we can still learn from each other, and the doctrine is not too different, so we get an overview of how you do things, and you see how we do things.”

The CPX was more than just a chance for Americans to learn from Malaysians; it also was a chance to brush up on working with the United Nations, something the U.S. hasn’t done much over the past decade of war.

“Many of the Malaysian officers have experience in Timor and Lebanon and bring a knowledge of UN peacekeeping operations and how the United Nations works,” Davis said.

“We haven’t participated in operations like that in many years,” Davis added, “so, as they learn about our staff processes and how we operate, we’re absorbing their knowledge about other types of missions in the world.

“It’s a learning experience on both sides,” Davis noted.

This sharing of knowledge and strengthening of bonds is what makes the CPX and Exercise Keris Strike a success, year after year.

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Category: Exercises, News, Training

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