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NEWS | June 5, 2024

Malaysia, U.S. Continue to Strengthen Ties at Bersama Warrior 2024 Exercise

By Joseph Siemandel, Joint Force Headquarters - Washington National Guard

The 10th annual Bersama Warrior exercise began June 1 with an opening ceremony led by Malaysian Armed Forces leaders and U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Kenneth Borchers, director of the Joint Staff for the Washington National Guard.

Bersama Warrior is an annual, bilateral Joint exercise sponsored by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and hosted by the Malaysian Armed Forces. It enhances the comprehensive partnership shared by U.S. and Malaysia and strengthens the ties between the Malaysian Armed Forces and the National Guardsmen from Washington State.

“Our partnership with Malaysia is still so new in terms of the State Partnership Program, but our participation in Bersama Warrior has helped us grow closer together,” said Borchers.

With more than 40 members from the Washington National Guard and Malaysian Armed Forces participating, the command post exercise of Bersama Warrior is a continuation of last year’s staff exercise. The exercise’s primary goal is to provide a joint and bilateral venue for USINDOPACOM service component commands to maintain readiness. It also emphasizes security cooperation and capacity building of partner nations, contributing to the overall security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

Since signing their formal partnership through the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau 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 mutual capabilities, security cooperation and people-to-people connections.

“Our goal is to continue to build strong relationships with our partner nation, increase cooperation, interoperability and collaboration in order to achieve effective solutions to common challenges we both face,” Borchers said. “We look forward to sharing knowledge, best practices and supporting each other during these two weeks.”

The exercise runs through June 15.

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