USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) file photo. (U.S. Navy/Bill Mesta)

LUMUT, Malaysia - The expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) concluded a port visit to Lumut, Malaysia, Jan 12.

The crew members had the opportunity to experience the country’s culture while strengthening ties with the local population. Port visits such as these serve as an important element in the U.S. Navy’s theater security cooperation efforts by enhancing solid relationships with partner nations throughout the region.

The port of Lumut’s unique capabilities in supporting expeditionary maintenance for deployed assets including the littoral combat ship (LCS) continues to be vital for the U.S. Navy in regional security and theater security cooperation efforts.

“The port of Lumut allows repairs and maintenance which would otherwise need to be completed further away from strategic areas,” said Capt. Lex Walker, commodore of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7. “Furthermore, not only does Lumut provide an excellent opportunity for port visits, the Lumut Naval Base continues to be an important location for bilateral exercises with the Royal Malaysian Navy.”

The Royal Malaysian and U.S. Navy continue to work closely together through increasingly sophisticated exercises including the annual bilateral Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Malaysia and the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) exercise.

“The U.S. Navy values the strong partnership with the Royal Malaysian Navy, and we continue to look forward to even greater cooperative engagements this year,” said Walker. “These opportunities to share knowledge and experiences with each other allow us to enhance mutual capabilities and improve tactical proficiency so that we may more effectively operate together as a unified force.”

Brunswick is one of three expeditionary fast transport ships in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to continue its mission of providing rapid intra-theater transport of troops and military equipment.

As U.S. 7th Fleet's executive agent for theater security cooperation in South and Southeast Asia, Commander, Task Force 73 and DESRON 7 conduct advanced planning, organize resources and directly support the execution of maritime exercises and engagements, such as Pacific Partnership, the bilateral CARAT series, the Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) with Vietnam and multilateral SEACAT. Task Force 73 and DESRON 7 also tactically control and coordinate maintenance for rotationally deployed LCS.