Bersama Shield 2017 concludes in Malaysia

Five Power Defence Arrangements exercise Bersama Shield concluded on May 9 in Malaysia.

Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and the United Kingdom wrapped up two weeks of drills in international waters, off the coast of Malaysia as part of the longest standing multilateral arrangement in South East Asia.

Australian Acting Chief of Joint Operations, Major General Stuart Smith, said exercise Bersama Shield was an important opportunity for the Australian Defence Force to strengthen cooperation with other nations.

“Around 300 Australian personnel have taken part, drawn from Navy, Army and Air Force,” Major General Smith said.

“Bersama Shield 17 has highlighted the key defence relationships Australia has in South East Asia, which contributes significantly to security in the region,” he said.

Major Australian Defence Force assets deployed to the exercise included Royal Australian Navy submarine HMAS Farncomb and Anzac class frigate HMAS Ballarat.

A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and a KA350 King Air tactical mobility aircraft also took part.

The exercise was conducted over four phases, culminating in a practical regional security exercise and post exercise debrief.

The Five Power Defence Arrangments were established in 1971 to contribute to regional security.

Exercise Suman Protector 17 is the next major Defence Arrangements exercise and is scheduled for the second half of 2017.

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