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US Marines, sailors share best practices with Malaysian Rangers

US Marine Corps News

6/24/2011 By Cpl. Aaron Hostutler , Marine Corps Bases Japan

ERAM SISIK TRAINING AREA, KEMAMAN TERENGGANU, Malaysia — Marines and sailors with Landing Force Company arrived at the Eram Sisik Training Area in Kemaman Terengganu, Malaysia, June 10 to conduct training with Malaysian service members, during the final phase of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2011 exercise.

Landing Force Company consists primarily of Marines with 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, augmented by Marines from III MEF.

CARAT is an annual, bilateral exercise held between the U.S. and Southeast Asia nations with the goals of promoting mutual trust and understanding, enhancing regional cooperation and increasing operational readiness with partner nations.

This year, the landing force trained with militaries from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Malaysia was a training environment that defined jungle warfare, said Capt. Rudy Cazares, company commander for the Landing Force Company.

“My men finally got an understanding of what jungle training is supposed to be. They understand the elements that may affect them,” he added.

The training evolution in Malaysia, which focused on jungle warfare, was led primarily by Malaysians.

“Malaysia has one of the best jungle warfare schools in the world,” said Col. Stephen Neary, commanding officer of 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. This training is important because we are an expeditionary force, and just like the Marines’ Hymn says, we fight in every clime and place.”

The Marines received classes on various topics, related to (jungle warfare), including patrolling in the jungle, guerilla warfare and setting up patrol bases.’

“We hope Marines know more about the jungle environment and how to operate in it,” said Malaysian Cpl. Manair Anak Nuas, a machine gunner with 8th Platoon, Company C, 8th Royal Ranger Regiment, Malaysian Army Rangers. “This training is very basic, but they can use it as a guide and then learn more about it later.”

After classes were complete, two platoons from Landing Force Company set up their patrol bases and began intensive training.

The nights during training were long, wet and hot.

After digging fighting holes and ensuring they had established security measures, Marines encountered a side of the jungle many had not yet experienced. Inch-long ants and blood-sucking leeches were not only around every corner, they seemed to be under every rock, in every sleeping bag and constantly creeping everywhere.

“Those darn leaches!” said Staff Sgt. Thomas Dang, 2nd Platoon commander, Landing Force Company. “The insects, especially the leaches, make you realize that you are in a (real) jungle. Sleeping in fighting holes with all these bugs every night is a constant reminder of where you are and how important it is to watch each other’s back.”

After the patrol base was set, the two platoons of Marines spent the next few days conducting several ambushes, assaults and patrols with Malaysian Rangers.

“You guys did very well,” said Malaysian Maj. Farriz Bin Ahmad Rlawawi, company commander of Charlie Company, 8th Royal Ranger Regiment. “You seem like you have experience in this kind of place before. Hopefully, you can take some of the techniques we showed you, adapt them and make them your own.”

During the next phase of training, the Marines returned to base camp and taught the Malaysians tactics for fighting in an urban environment.

“The techniques (U.S. Marines) taught us for (military operations in urban terrain) are very good,” said Rlawawi. “We lack experience in that area and are very happy to learn the basics.”

After the final training was complete, the two militaries held a closing ceremony in which leaders exchanged gifts and thanked each other for the quality training just completed.

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