A multinational response to a regional security threat is the focus of the latest military exercise to involve all three Services of the Australian Defence Force.
FILE PHOTO (2016): Able Seaman Stephanie Pannell engages a ‘killer tomato’ with a Browning M2 12.7mm machine gun on HMAS Warramunga during Exercise Bersama Lima 2016. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Martin Anderson.
This year 750 ADF personnel will participate in Exercise Bersama Lima 18 in Malaysia, Singapore and over the South China Sea from 2 to 19 October 2018.
The exercise involves member nations of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA): Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Chief of Joint Operations Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld said the FPDA was one of the ADF’s most enduring regional relationships, and exercises such as Bersama Lima contributed directly to regional security and stability.
“The FPDA, established in 1971, remains an important forum for ongoing dialogue, enhancing interoperability and promoting peace in our region,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said.
Commander of the Australian Contingent Group Captain Nicholas Pratt said Bersama Lima 18 would again prove invaluable in terms of building both interoperability with regional militaries and the realistic training scenarios involved.
“This exercise will include a field training element, live-fire serials as well as a command-post exercise that will test the operability of Australian maritime, land and air elements,” Group Captain Pratt said.
“These activities will extend the partner nations’ knowledge of each other’s tactics and operational procedures.”
The ADF commitment to Bersama Lima is significant and includes nine Royal Australian Air Force Hornet fighters, a P-8 Poseidon maritime-patrol aircraft, a KC-30 in-air refuelling tanker, an E-7A Wedgetail surveillance aircraft and a B-350 Kingair logistics aircraft; plus HMA Ships Stuart and Sirius as well as a platoon of Australian Army soldiers from Rifle Company Butterworth.