POLARIS POINT, Guam — Key members of the U.S. Navy and Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) submarine forces met at Submarine Squadron 15 headquarters on Polaris Point, Guam, for the RMN and U.S. Navy Submarine Staff Talks 2015.
The talks, presided over by Rear Adm. William Merz, commander, Submarine Group 7, and Rear Adm. Abdul Rahman, commander, RMN Submarine Force, focused on reviewing and establishing plans for joint trainings and exercises in 2016 and beyond.
The event included a luncheon aboard the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40), and tours of the guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) and training facilities at Submarine Squadron 15.
"We are a young submarine force," said Rahman. "We've learned a lot through these talks and trainings, especially on safety. I think it's wonderful."
RMN has two submarines homeported in Sepanggar, Malaysia, the first of which was delivered in 2009.
"Whether a large force or a small force, we all contribute to the undersea team," said Merz. "What's great about working with the Malaysians is that they have a strong sense of their capabilities."
The event is one of many joint trainings and exchanges between Malaysia and the United States. American submarines and submarine tenders have conducted multiple subject matter expert exchanges on topics such as quality assurance and safety when visiting Malaysian ports.
The talks culminated with Merz and Rahman signing an action item agreement that lined out plans and steps to improve and expand collaboration between the two navies.
"Ashore our cultures are different, but underwater they're very well aligned," said Merz. "I see a great future for our two navies. RMN has exactly what you look for in an ally."
Malaysia, an island nation of more than 30 million in the Pacific Ocean, has been allied with the U.S. since it gained its independence in 1957. It is considered a partner by the U.S. in matters of maritime domain awareness and regional stability in the Pacific region.