An air and maritime exercise involving Australia and its regional security partners starts today in Malaysia.
Exercise Bersama Lima 2013 is a Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) activity involving Australia, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand.
Commander Australian Contingent, Wing Commander Louis Nuttycombe, said the exercise was designed to share operational methods between the FPDA militaries and provides an opportunity to enhance relationships and interoperability with the country’s security partners.
“Exercise Bersama Lima 2013 involves planning and rehearsing air and maritime operations in the South China Sea, Malaysia and Singapore,” Wing Commander Nuttycombe said.
“The exercise will involve about 300 Australian Defence Force personnel alongside those from the other member nations.
“Royal Australian Air Force aircraft including F/A-18 Hornet, AP-3C Orion, E-7A Wedgetail and KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft will support the exercise.
“Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Sirius will also provide a replenishment capability in support of the Maritime Component Commander.
“Many of the Australian participants will be operating at Headquarters – Integrated Area Defence Systems (HQ IADS) at Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Base Butterworth, which is where the exercise will be commanded,” Wing Commander Louis Nuttycombe said.
The FPDA is the longest standing multilateral arrangement in South East Asia and has maintained relevance in the contemporary security environment.
The Exercise concludes on 21 November.
Press Release, November 7, 2013; Image: Navy