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NEWS | March 12, 2020

Sixth Annual Bersama Warrior Exercise Kicks Off in Malaysia

By Lt. Col. Alyson Teeter Washington Air National Guard

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- The sixth annual Bersama Warrior exercise commenced here March 11, 2020, with an opening ceremony officiated by Malaysian Armed Forces Joint Force Headquarters Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Abd Malik bin Jiran and U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. James B. Jarrard.

Bersama Warrior is an annual joint and bilateral exercise sponsored by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and hosted by the Malaysian Armed Forces. This year’s iteration is a staff exercise that provides preparatory planning for the Bersama Warrior 2021 Command Post Exercise.

“As the aim of this exercise is to enhance interoperability and build capacity to plan and conduct joint and multinational operations at the operational level, it provides a great opportunity for all participants to exchange ideas and experiences as the multinational force,” Jiran said.

Exchanging ideas and experiences during Bersama Warrior were a primary goal for the 29 members from the Washington National Guard, a state partner with the Malaysian Armed Forces and the primary training audience for the exercise.

Since signing their formal partnership through the National Guard Bureau sponsored State Partnership Program in August 2017, the Washington National Guard and the Malaysian Armed Forces have met regularly through exercises like Bersama Warrior to enhance their mutual capabilities and security cooperation.

The exercise will challenge personnel from both countries with planning and coordinating peace enforcement operations – to include counter-terrorism and humanitarian assistance missions – using the military decision-making process and multinational forces standard operating procedures.

While everyone was focused on conducting a successful exercise, the multinational force of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines were invited by leadership to build and enhance relationships with their multinational brethren.

“We must also endeavor to greater enhance our networking and develop a strong sense of comradeship,” Jiran said.

The exercise runs through March 20, 2020.
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