Bersama Lima 2018

Ex Elangaroo/Bersama Lima 2018

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.

A RAAF Super Hornet at Kuantan airbase on Sept. 27 for Ex Elangaroo/Bersama Lima.

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.

Blast from the past. Ex Elangaroo/Bersama Lima 2011 From left: Colonel Zulkifli Hamid (C.O No 18 Squadron RMAF), Lieutenant Colonel Mior Badlishan (C.O No 17/19 Squadron RMAF) and Wing Commander Philip Arms (C.O 75 Squadron RAAF) greet each other during Exercise Elangaroo/ Bersama Lima 2011.

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.

Bersama LIMA 2018 infographic.

#Edited to add that Singapore Defence Ministry announced the start of Ex Bersama Lima in Singapore today.

— Malaysian Defence

If you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment

About Marhalim Abas 2185 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Off topic.

    There are chatters of something serious going on internally in Denels of south africa. Seems like they are in a brink of collapse. Hopefully we can get hold of design rights and production toolings of the GI-30 linkless 30mm cam gun and the INGWE missiles before anything serious happens to Denel.

    BTW marhalim it seems that i cannot read a lot of comments no matter how many times i refresh my browsers and delete my caches.

  2. Isn’t it 51% owned by Rheinmetall?

    That’s Rheinmetall Denel, a subsidiary of Denel. Denel the parent company is 100 percent state owned.

  3. Off topic

    When something like the sulawesi tsunami happens we will surely rise up the question of how our armed forces can help in such HADR situation.

    How will something like the current LMS design contribute? Would it be good if we can send a MRSS set up with emergency medical facilities? Would something like my LMS-B option be a useful ship for HADR, carrying much needed fuel in its large internal tanks to remote villages, carrying aid on its large deck and processing drinking water from its on-board desalination plant.

    How can we harness the PAC rapid deployment forces to help in areas cut off normal transport lines? Can the pathfinder teams be used quickly set up emergency airfields? Can a field hospital be airdropped? Can we equip 10 para with special non camouflage high visibility uniforms for them to be airdropped for HADR missions?

    Why havent we flown our A400M to sulawesi? What about our EC725s in sabah that is just a few hours flight to Sulawesi?

    Even the Indonesian paratroopers are drop off in Palu at the airport. I have no idea why they haven’t sent in our aid there

  4. About time RMAF in particular to wake up and smell the roses. The money spent on this exercise isnt yours so keeping the public informed is good policy. This is an exercise not a live operation. One beggets transparency the other justifies secrecy. Not everything is “rahsia”. Rahsia shall not be a veil for devious objectives.

  5. @…
    There is the matter of sovereignty, you know. Our forces can’t assist until requested by their Indon counterparts. Even if such disaster happened 100km away from our border and 1000km away from their nearest help, we can’t just barge into their territory on pretext of humanitarian assistance without request from their government or military. AFAIK, this request hadn’t yet been made.

    They have requested for help, we are sending a SMART via A400M soon

  6. Sharudon, i agree with you, but it seems its applies to all asean nation when comes to this transparency and openness, like at the aussies, they did an open house of after Pitch Black.
    This will educate the public and a chance for the military to show and tell. Sadly, many asean nation are mired with secrecy act

  7. Agree with Shahrudin esa’s comment. MAF seems unsure of direction under the new govt. Wake up boys 🙂

  8. @Marhalim
    Thanks for the clarification. Hmm, SMART team not so smart if it takes days to assemble them and roll out. Is it due to immigration clearance holding them back? Supposedly they should be ready to go within 24hours as time is precious in rescue operations.

    They need to get permission from Indonesia and also need to find the transport

  9. Re: FPDA
    UK contribution includes HMS Argyll

    Ex Suman Warrior was also held earlier this year, consisting of a CPX in UK

    Re: Indonesia
    UK also sent/sending an A400M

  10. AFP news report mentioned Indon had initially refused external help until just recently. Perhaps, that’s the reason for late response.

    Yes they waited two days before allowing foreign help

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.