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NEWS | June 9, 2023

Malaysian and US forces strengthen security ties at Bersama Warrior Exercise

By Lt. Col. Alyson Teeter

The ninth annual Bersama Warrior exercise commenced here June 6, 2023, with an opening ceremony officiated by Malaysian Armed Forces Joint Force Headquarters Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for the J3, Royal Malaysian Navy First Admiral Pulendren a/l Paramasivam and Director of the Joint Staff for the Washington National Guard, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Johan Deutscher.

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 2024 Command Post Exercise.

The staff exercise will challenge personnel with planning and coordinating several missions using the military decision-making process and Multi-National Forces standard operating procedures. The training will focus on developing capacity to respond quickly to a crisis with greater interoperability, mission effectiveness, and unity of action between the U.S. and Malaysian armed forces.

“Responding to an emergency situation will continue to be a team effort, whether it is kinetic or non-kinetic; natural or human-made,” Deutscher said in a speech during the opening ceremony. “This is why Bersama Warrior is so important.”

More than 30 members from the Washington National Guard, a state partner with the Malaysian Armed Forces, is 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, security cooperation, and people-to-people connections that extend beyond military cooperation.

​​“Our interests are shared interests. Our dedication to a free and open Pacific is not just for a few of us - it’s for all of us,” Deutscher said.

The exercise runs through June 16, 2023.