United States, United Kingdom, and Bangladesh Special Operations Exchange

The first of its kind trilateral military exchange took place February 16 – March 12 aimed at improving joint interoperability in responding to security threats and crisis situations in the region through the exchange of techniques, ideas, and practices.

DHAKA, March 10, 2020 – U.S. Ambassador Earl Miller and Bangladesh Navy Rear Admiral Mohammed Shaheen Iqbal attended the closing ceremony of a U.S.-UK-Bangladesh Special Operations exchange.  The exchange – named Operation Monogram – took place from February 16 – March 12, 2020, and served to enhance the relationship among U.S., UK, and Bangladeshi military partners.  It was the first-ever exchange including U.S. and UK militaries with Bangladeshi Army and Navy elements.

Speaking at Operation Monogram’s closing ceremony, Ambassador Miller said, “Continuing these cooperative efforts is critical in preventing and countering threats to include drug and human trafficking, piracy, and other challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.  The ideals of sovereignty, open economies that transcend borders, and adherence to the rule of law we aspire to uphold through our mutual security cooperation.”

During the four-week exchange, 40 participants from the Bangladesh Navy’s elite Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS) unit and 10 participants from the Bangladesh Army’s Special Forces 1st Para-Commando Brigade exchanged techniques, procedures, and best practices with U.S. and UK military members on small unit tactics and maritime tasks to increase interoperability among the three militaries.  Maritime exchange segments incorporated the use of the SWADS’ newly acquired Metal Shark boats, recently transferred from the United States to the Bangladesh Navy, ideal for operating in Bangladesh’s predominantly riverine and coastal landscape.  U.S. Navy Special Operations elements exchanged tactics with the SWADS on vessel boarding, maritime navigation, and maneuvering.  Land-based training aspects focused on marksmanship, movement in urban areas, and medical first responder training.  The exchange further facilitated dialogue and partnership between the Bangladesh Army and Navy and will enhance future joint operations between the two military services.

The military relationship among Bangladesh, the UK, and the United States is vital for the security and stability of the Bay of Bengal and a testament to our three great countries’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.