The United States and Malaysia have jointly conducted Exercise Tiger Strike 2017, a bilateral training exercise intended to increase combat readiness, as well as help plan and execute amphibious operations.

This is the fourth time that this exercise has been conducted between the two nations, The Diplomat reported.

Exercise Tiger Strike 2017 was held in Tanduo, Sabah, which was deemed to be a suitable location, because Tanduo was at the centre of the 2013 Lahad Datu standoff.

During the standoff, over 200 descendants of the Sultanate of Sulu attempted to assert the Philippine claim to Sabah.

In the resulting clash between the Sulu militants and Malaysian armed forces, many militants, civilians and armed forces personnel were killed.

The location is also particularly apt because Malaysia is currently focused on combating terrorism in the area, thus prioritising its defense and preserving its sovereignty.

The report highlighted that previous iterations of Exercise Tiger Strike have included sharing of training practices in various areas, including support for combat logistics, as well as operational planning.

According to The Diplomat the exercise was also part of the strong defence relationship between the United States and Malaysia.

Aside from the Exercise Tiger Strike 2017, the defence relationship between the two nations has also been seen through other multilateral and bilateral exercises, such as Pacific Partnership, the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training, and Exercise Keris Strike.-FMT

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