Relationship Endures as Five Powers Exercise Gets Underway
18 April 2016
South East Asia’s only multilateral security agreement focused on practical cooperation of its kind remains as strong as ever as Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 16 commences today.
The long-running BERSAMA exercise series enhances the interoperability between the founding members of the Five Power Defence Arrangements - Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Commander of the Australian Contingent Wing Commander Paul Webb said working alongside FPDA partners demonstrates the dynamic nature of Australia’s role and cooperation in South East Asia.
“Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 16 highlights the diversity of Defence relationships Australia maintains in the region,” Wing Commander Webb said.
“Our common values, respect and support for each other is very much evident as we plan and act together in response to the exercise scenarios.
“The relationships forged at FPDA exercises then become incredibly valuable when we respond together to real-time crisis situations, such as regional disasters.”
More than 200 Australian Defence Force personnel will participate in the exercise being held in FPDA exercise areas in the South China Sea between April 18th and 29th.
Major Australian Defence Force platforms assigned to Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 16 include the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Anzac and the patrol boat HMAS Bathurst, while the Royal Australian Air Force has contributed an AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and a KA350 King Air tactical mobility aircraft.
Since 1971, the FPDA has been an enduring and important feature of Australia’s efforts to advance its interests by working with partners to promote security in South East Asia.
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999