Australian Defence Force personnel have completed the annual Exercise Bersama Shield with their Five Powers Defence Arrangements partners in Malaysia, Singapore and the South China Sea.
CAPTION: A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft flies above a Royal New Zealand Air Force AP-3K Orion aircraft over the South China Sea during Exercise Bersama Shield 16. Photo by Corporal Steve Duncan
The multilateral training activity is part of a long-running series of exercises aimed at enhancing the interoperability of the Five Powers Defence Arrangements (FPDA) members – Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
“Exercise Bersama Shield 16 tested the ability of FPDA nations to work together to complete missions and objectives, and they’ve done that very well,” he said.
“Through this cooperation, we’ve built on existing friendships and strengthened our habits of collaboration. We look forward to continuing the relationship with our FPDA partners during Exercise Bersama Lima later this year.”
Exercise Bersama Shield 16 saw participants conduct joint maritime, land and air operations in a multi-threat environment over four phases including combat enhancement training, force integration training, a war exercise and a post-exercise debrief.
Established in 1971, FPDA remains focused on the defence of Singapore and Malaysia and contributes to regional security resilience.
More than 280 Australian Defence Force personnel took part in the exercise over April 18th to 29th, joining approximately 2000 members from other FPDA nations.
Australia contributed the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Anzac, the Armidale class patrol boat HMAS Bathurst, a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and KA350 King Air tactical mobility aircraft.
The aircraft will now return to Australia while HMAS Anzac and HMAS Bathurst will sail to Brunei for the ADMM-Plus Maritime Security and Counterterrorism Exercise 2016.