America's military faces reductions in force and spending that could have a ripple effect. Proceedings asked the leaders of the world's sea services: Some see U.S. global naval engagement diminishing and the world's power structure realigning itself over the coming decade. In what ways would this affect your navy?
Although there has been a growing debate on the shifting of the world’s power structure and reduction of the U.S. global naval engagement, the level of engagement between the Royal Malaysian Navy and the U.S. Navy has been enhanced.
For example, exercises established under Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training and South East Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism continue unhindered with significant enhancement of interactions and complexity. Further, it must be emphasized that the number of U.S. Navy ships visiting Malaysia has increased significantly in the past few years. In the course of 2010, two dozen vessels visited various RMN bases and commercial ports. Additionally, the seven official visits that senior U.S. Navy leaders made to Malaysia and the RMN Chief of Navy’s visit to the United States in July and August of last year are clear evidence of the enhanced engagement between the two navies.
In addition, the Bilateral Training and Consultative Group and the International Military & Education Training initiatives have been instrumental in preserving if not promoting the navy-to-navy engagement. Those platforms set the foundation to co-ordinate all activities encompassing the scope of defense cooperation, exercises, courses, intelligence and communications. This long-standing arrangement has benefited both the RMN and the U.S. Navy to a large extent and continues to serve as an avenue for interaction amongst the naval subject matter experts. Obviously, the commitment in fulfilling the above activities could not have been successfully executed without the effective roles of the leadership of both navies.
In the foreseeable future, it is anticipated that the RMN–U.S. Navy engagement will reach new heights. New areas of cooperation in the domains such as submarine force capabilities development and training are already being discussed and deliberated. At the same time, the RMN looks forward to realizing its future acquisition programs related to littoral combatant ships and medium-lift antisubmarine warfare helicopters. As such, it can be deduced that the claim of reduction in U.S. global naval engagement does not apply to the RMN–U.S. Navy relations.