The ADF has deployed 12 aircraft and two naval vessels to participate in Exercise Bersama Shield 2012 in southeast Asia.
The exercise marks the 41st anniversary of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), a series of bilateral agreements between the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Malayisa and Singapore. This year’s exercise, set to run through May 5, will be held in Malaysia, Singapore and the South China Sea.
RAAF aircraft including 3SQN F/A-18 Hornets and AP-3C Orions will operate from Royal Malaysian Air Force Station Butterworth, the headquarters of the FPDA’s Integrated Area Defence System. The ANZAC-class frigate HMAS Ballarat and the submarine HMAS Collins will also participate.
The ADF has additionally deployed 20 personnel to work in the exercise headquarters.
“This exercise provides the Australian Defence Force with an important opportunity to enhance relationships and interoperability with our security partners and ensuring the practices and plans are in place to respond to security and humanitarian missions in our region, should the need arise,” Commander Australian Contingent, Wing Commander Louis Nuttycombe said.