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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – The 10th annual Exercise Bersama Warrior began June 1 with an opening ceremony led by the leadership of the Malaysian Armed Forces and Brigadier General Kenneth Borchers, director of the Joint Staff of the U.S. Air Force National Guard Washington.

Bersama Warrior is an annual bilateral joint exercise sponsored by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and hosted by the Malaysian Armed Forces. It reinforces the comprehensive partnership between the United States and Malaysia and strengthens the relationship between the Malaysian Armed Forces and the Washington State National Guardsmen.

“Our partnership with Malaysia is still very 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 the Malaysian Armed Forces, the Bersama Warrior command exercise is a continuation of last year’s staff exercise. The primary objective of the exercise is to provide USINDOPACOM service component commands with a joint and bilateral platform to maintain operational readiness. It also emphasizes security cooperation and partner nation capacity building, contributing to overall security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

Since signing their formal partnership under the Department of Defense’s National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program in August 2017, the Washington National Guard and the Malaysian Armed Forces have met regularly through exercises such as Bersama Warrior to enhance their mutual capabilities, security cooperation and people-to-people contacts.

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

The exercise lasts until June 15th.

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