KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysian Armed Forces Joint Force Headquarters Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Dato' Haji Mohd Yusof Bin Aziz and Washington Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Jeremy Horn presided over the opening ceremony of exercise Bersama Warrior 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 6.

Bersama Warrior is an annual joint bi-lateral exercise between the countries of Malaysia and the United States designed to develop and improve their collective capacity to plan and conduct joint and combined operations. This year's exercise is a command post exercise.

Exercises like these provide a valuable opportunity for two nation's armed forces to train with each other in order to strengthen individual relationships while exercising their ability to carry out intricate operations.

"We need to learn as much as possible from each other and function hand in glove in enhancing the degree of interoperability demanded by such a complex mission," Yusof said.

This is the third iteration of Bersama Warrior with the Washington National Guard participating as the primary training audience. The Washington National Guard and the country of Malaysia entered into a formal partnership in August 2017 under the National Guard Bureau sponsored State Partnership Program. Under the program, a state's National Guard is linked to the armed forces of their partner nation in a mutually beneficial relationship with the goal of enhancing capabilities and security cooperation. Because of this enduring relationship with Malaysia, the Washington National Guard was selected to be heavily involved in the exercise.

"My hope for the next nine days is that we work hard and that we do well," Horn said. "But more importantly that we learn from one another, that we exchange ideas and we get to know each other at a human level."

The exercise aims to strengthen the relationship between Malaysian Armed Forces and the United States while identifying effective solutions to common challenges such as counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance, and maritime security as well as to develop the capacity to quickly respond to the crisis with greater efficiency and effectiveness.

"At the end of the day, we want the same thing -- a peaceful and stable region, the ability to respond quickly together and we want to help the citizens around us," Horn concluded.

Bersama Warrior will run through March 15 at Joint Forces Headquarters of the Malaysia Armed Forces in Kuala Lumpur.