KUALA LUMPUR: In a bid to help with disaster response, the US government has donated Forward Anaesthesia Surgical Trauma (FAST) assets to the Malaysian Armed Forces.
The assets were handed over at Hospital Angkatan Tentera Tuanku Mizan on Thursday (Sept 28) in a ceremony held in conjunction with the conclusion of Exercise Starlight 2023.
The operational exercise for aid readiness at field hospitals also saw a live demonstration to demonstrate the country's preparedness for handling medical emergencies.
"Even before this, the United States and Malaysia have had a long history of collaboration on public health issues, including identifying emerging infectious diseases and threats through our work together in Sabah," US Embassy charge d'affaires Manu Bhalla said at the ceremony.
"Furthermore, under USAID’s (US Agency for International Development) global PREDICT programme, the US government provided US$200mil (RM941.6mil) for research in areas around the world to include Borneo for more than a decade to detect and better understand emerging infectious diseases of zoonotic origin."
Such FAST assets had been used by the Malaysian Armed Forces during search and rescue missions in Turkiye in the aftermath of the earthquake there in February.
Deputy Chief Of Army Lt Gen Datuk Tengku Muhammad Fauzi Tengku Ibrahim said the country's FAST team symbolised Malaysia's commitment to international humanitarian efforts.
"Their rapid deployment capability serves as a tangible demonstration of Malaysia's readiness to swiftly respond to international crises, reinforcing our position as a reliable global partner.
"The team... is designed to function autonomously for up to 72 hours and it showcases Malaysia's resilience and self-reliance, sending a strong message about our nation's ability to stand firm in challenging situations," he said.