Two weeks of collaboration and camaraderie between the U.S. and Malaysian armed forces during Exercise Bersama Warrior 2022 was celebrated with a closing ceremony here presided over by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Reginald Neal, Deputy Commanding General of the US Army Pacific and Maj. of the Royal Malaysian Air Force. Gen. Dato ‘Hj Md Fauzi b Saleh, Deputy Chief of Staff Joint Force Headquarters Malaysian Armed Forces J-3, June 17, 2022.
“Over the past 12 days, the hard work of the staff during this command post exercise has truly improved the interoperability between Malaysia and the United States,” Neal said. “This in-person exercise clearly demonstrates our renewed commitment to working together to solve important and complex issues.
Command post exercises like Bersama Warrior are designed to strengthen the relationship between the host nation’s armed forces and the United States by combining them into a single command and forcing them to collectively solve a complex problem, thereby increasing the interoperability and their ability to plan and carry out joint actions. and coalition operations.
In the fictional Bersama Warrior scenario, the United Nations Security Council resolution authorized operations on the fictional Isla Del Sol. The combined joint task force leading the response was tasked with clearing invading enemy forces from the island and moving into stability and security operations.
An enduring feature of Bersama Warrior is the participation of the Washington National Guard due to its partnership with Malaysia. In 2017, under the State Partnership Program administered by the National Guard Bureau, the Washington National Guard and the Malaysian Armed Forces were formally partnered, beginning a mutually beneficial relationship with the goal of strengthening security capabilities and cooperation.
“I think our participation in exercises – and also subject exchanges – definitely strengthens our partnership with our state partners,” said Army Lt. Col. Reena Emme, head of intelligence Bersama Warrior C. -2 and Washington National Guard Foreign Deployment Training Manager. Planner. “There is a lot of planning that has been done for this exercise. However, I think it was definitely worth it as it helps build our relationship together.
While going through the inevitable aches and pains of combining a team of strangers from different cultures, then planning and executing a response to a fictional storyline, the team surprisingly bonded through a sense of shared service and history.
For Army Lt. Col. Vic Pirak, current operations planner for the Bersama Warrior C-3 and executive director of the Washington National Guard’s 56th Theater Information Operations Group, the experience was particularly poignant. He received an award from the C-3 Chief of Operations who also serves with the 19th Royal Malay Regiment (Mechanized) Battalion of the Malaysian Army. The wooden crest award was engraved with the motto “Tegak Teguh Gagah Perkasa”, which translates from Malay to English as “To Stand Firm and Gallant”.
“It was truly an honor to receive this…because it really recognized how our entire staff had come together, American and Malaysian,” he said. “Significantly about the 19th Mechanized, they were the unit in 1993 that served with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Somalia.”
Part of the Malaysian training audience included soldiers from the 19th Battalion. Over the two weeks, their American counterparts learned that the 19th’s history included the rescue of US Army Rangers in the Battle of Mogadishu, also known as the ‘Black Hawk Down’ incident in 1993 About 870 members of the regiment have been deployed to Somalia. as part of the United Nations Operation UNOSOM II and 100 Malaysian soldiers assisted in the rescue. A Malaysian soldier eventually lost his life during the mission.
“They are very proud of this lineage and this history,” he said.
“As we go along, it’s good to see everyone coming together. You don’t see everyone in different uniforms. It’s just like ‘hey, we have a job to do’ and then we get better at communicating,” Pirak added.
About 100 U.S. personnel participated in the Bersama Warrior command post exercise, comprised of operational staff planners.
“The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the Washington National Guard are grateful for the quality training and hospitality of our Malaysian military partners,” said Air Force Col. Scott Humphrey, Chief of Staff Bersama Warrior 2022 and Commander of the Washington Air National Guard. Western Air Defense Sector “As we strive to enhance interoperability, shared regional vision and mutual cooperation, we look forward to rewarding future engagements and lasting friendships. »