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Speeches & Remarks 2009

Remarks by Ambassador James F. Moriarty at the Closing Ceremony of Tiger Shark 1

November 12, 2009

Rear Admiral M. Farid Habib, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Operations;

Commodore A.M.M.M.A. Chowdhury, Commodore Commanding Chittagong;
Captain M.A. Hasnat, Commanding Officer Bangladesh Navy Special Warfare and Diving Salvage Unit;
Ladies and gentlemen:
Assalum Aleikum and good morning.

I am very pleased to join you today for this important graduation ceremony. The Bangladesh Navy Special Warfare and Diving Salvage Unit SWADS - now has 59 new naval commandos. SWADS is the direct descendent of the famous “Nau Commandos,” which fought so bravely during Bangladesh's Liberation War. The Bangladesh Navy played an important role in Bangladesh's independence and plays an equally important role now.

I believe that SWADS is well on its way to becoming Bangladesh's premier maritime counterterrorism unit.

Congratulations to you all. You have successfully completed a physically challenging course and you should be proud of your accomplishments. There are more challenges to come, including airborne qualification and an advanced commando course. In addition, there will be three more Tiger Shark training events in the next year. All of these activities will culminate in a combined Bangladesh/U.S. counter terrorism exercise.

These training events and exercises are all part of the process of becoming the best Bangladesh Naval Special Warfare Commandos. I look forward to watching your unit grow and am proud that the United States Government is providing assistance to achieve this goal.

This training program continues a long tradition of close cooperation between the U.S. and Bangladeshi militaries. This is first Tiger Shark exercise in our ongoing Joint Combined Training Exchange (JCET) program. The Tiger Shark exercises will increase interoperability both internally within the Bangladesh military and externally with the United States to counter terrorism. As our two countries relationships grow, so will the level of training and cooperation involved in these training exchanges.

The United States Government is committed to helping Bangladesh establish a strong maritime counter terrorist capability. A strong unit will protect the people of Bangladesh. A strong unit will also bring stability to the Bay of Bengal. A strong unit will deter terrorists, and contribute to international maritime security. I look forward to closely following your success in the years to come.

Congratulations on completing this important training exercise and thank you for your service.