LANGKAWI, Malaysia (NNS) -- Sailors and aircraft from U.S. Navy 7th Fleet departed Langkawi, March 21, at the conclusion of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) 2015 with a deeper understanding of regional nations.
LIMA, a biennial event held in Malaysia since 1991, has now become a premier destination for aerospace and maritime manufactures targeting the Southeast Asian market. The exhibition showcases technology in sea and air systems to address a wide spectrum of security challenges faced by countries in the region and around the world.
Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, said participation in LIMA 2015 supports the national security interests of the United States by demonstrating continued support for allies and partners of the region. "The LIMA exhibition is an excellent opportunity to engage with fellow Pacific nations who share common interests throughout the region," said Thomas. "Through the rebalance and events like LIMA, we are modernizing our alliances and strengthening our partnerships to help maintain peace and security."
LIMA 2015 hosted 35 naval vessels, 46 aircraft on static display, 17 aerial display aircraft and 242 exhibits representing more than 38 different countries.
In addition to supporting national security interests, LIMA 2015 offered a venue to showcase assets and form personal relationships that ultimately contribute to increased interoperability with other countries' services.
"Carrier Air Wing 5 was proud to be a part of LIMA 15," said Capt. John Enfield, Carrier Air Wing 5's deputy commander. "It was an excellent opportunity to meet and interact with aviators and industry experts from Malaysia and around the world. We share many common challenges and experiences, and meeting face-to-face gives us a chance to discuss how we handle them and learn from one another."
Lt. j.g. Lara Bzik, pilot with Patrol Squadron (VP) 45, said working with the Malaysian personnel offered a chance to experience working with other countries' services.
"Operating with the Malaysian ground crew was a great experience," said Bzik. "It was interesting to see how everyone worked together to get the job done."
Aviation Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Ryan Fisher, from VP-45, said his favorite part of LIMA 15 was the interactions between different militaries.
"I had a fun time talking to the other navies' and air forces' about their platforms," said Fisher. "Even though we come from different backgrounds and speak different languages, our aviation knowledge gave us an instant bond."
The U.S. Navy delegation for LIMA was comprised of two F/A-18F Super Hornets from the "Diamondbacks" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102, a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 45 and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) with an embarked MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 51, Detachment 4.
For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit www.navy.mil/local/ctf70/.