Australia’s longest standing regional security exercise, Bersama Lima 16, has drawn to a close.
The Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) exercise was conducted in Malaysia, Singapore and over the South China Sea, and involved air, maritime and land elements from the five member nations; Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
The Commander of the Australian Contingent, Wing Commander Gregory Jervis, said all the Australian Force Elements gained significant training value from the exercise.
“The Australian contingent has enjoyed the interoperability opportunities from working with other Five Power Defence Arrangements nations to achieve exercise objectives,” he said
“Navy gained enormous benefit from operating in a congested maritime environment with partner navies, and Army and Air Force have come away with valuable outcomes from working within combined Command and Control environments.”
Approximately 520 Australian Defence Force personnel participated in Bersama Lima 16, along with RAN ships HMAS Warramunga and HMAS Yarra.
The RAAF contingent consisted of F/A-18A Hornet fighter attack aircraft, an AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail command and control aircraft and a KA350 King Air tactical utility aircraft. Army was represented by a platoon from Rifle Company Butterworth (based in Malaysia).
Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnson, said the Five Power Defence Arrangements exercises continue to enhance the ADF’s ability to operate alongside regional and international partners.
“The mix of nations involved in the FPDA, along with variations in equipment and procedures, gives Australian forces an excellent training opportunity to build personal relationships and integrate as part of a multinational force for a wide scope of operations including security and humanitarian aid missions,” he said.
“FPDA is a key component of our regional engagement, and we look forward to more training opportunities in 2017.”