SHAH ALAM: Bersama Lima 2018. Exercise Bersama 2018, the military exercise involving the Five Power Defence Arrangement (PFDA) countries starts today. Although it is held here in Malaysia (and also Singapore, the host) as usual, more so now, we are very quiet about it. Just like the recent exercise involving the US.
As usual Australia has see fit to announce the exercise which is also being held together with Ex Elangaroo – the joint RMAF and RAAF exercise. This exercise is being held at the Kuantan airbase. Posted below is the news release on Bersama Lima from the Australian Defense Ministry.
Regional security in focus for Exercise BERSAMA LIMA 18
1 October 2018
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 (ADF).
This year 750 ADF personnel will participate in BERSAMA LIMA 18 conducted 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 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 P8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, a KC-30 refuelling tanker, an E-7A Wedgetail and a B-350 Kingair aircraft; HMA Ships Stuart and Sirius as well as a platoon of Australian Army soldiers from Rifle Company Butterworth.
The Armed Forces has always been wary of making too much of our bilateral/trilateral military exercises but its getting more quieter with the new government. It is likely that the military is waiting for further directions from their political masters before we can see whether there will be further interactions in the near future. Singapore announced the commencement of the exercise after it was declared officially started today.
#Edited to add that Singapore Defence Ministry announced the start of Ex Bersama Lima in Singapore today.
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