SOUTH CHINA SEA - Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, and Destroyer Squadron 1 participated in various bi-lateral training events May 10 in the South China Sea with Malaysian air and surface units in support of Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet theater security cooperation objectives.
The strike group conducted a photo exercise (PHOTOEX), a 5-inch gun exercise, dissimilar air combat training (DACT), and concluded with an expendable maneuverable acoustic training target (EMATT) exercise.
"We greatly value our relationship with the Royal Malaysian military," said Rear Adm. Chris Grady, Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group commander. "Exercises like these are mutually beneficial and show our commitment to nurturing and deepening our bi-lateral ties with partner nations throughout the region."
During the DACT portion of the training, CVW 17 F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets joined Malaysian SU-30, MiG-29N, and FA-18D Hornets to train in multiple combat scenarios. Events ranged from single aircraft engaging single aircraft to complex multi-aircraft combat scenarios. With the Malaysian SU-30s maneuvering at speeds estimated close to Mach 1, training was aggressive and realistic.
The EMATT exercise allowed the guided-missile USS Gridley (DDG 101) to work with their Royal Malaysian Navy counterpart, KD Lekir (FGS 26), and practice dual-ship anti-submarine warfare.
"The EMATT exercise allowed both U.S. and Malaysian navies to track a live target that was threat representative," said Lt. Cmdr. Shelby Nikitin, DESRON 1 operations officer. "This was excellent practice for both. We were impressed with the capabilities of the Royal Malaysian Navy."
"Exercises like this validate our training and allows us to see what our aircraft can do," said Cmdr. Dwayne Ducommun, CVNSG operations officer. "When you're flying the same aircraft that you are fighting or training against, it comes down to the skill of the pilot, but when you have aircraft that aren't the same, both technology and the skill of the pilot are tested."
Ducommun explained the benefit of this type of training and the significance of its impact on future operations.
"It is very important for our military and our foreign counterparts to conduct this type of training routinely," said Ducommun. "It shows how devoted we are to our maritime partners, and how much we value the mutual training."
The United States and Malaysia share a diverse and expanding partnership and cooperate closely on a number of security matters, including counterterrorism, maritime domain awareness, and regional stability.
The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.