Exercise Bersama Shield 2013 was conducted on the South China Sea, Singapore and the Malaysian Peninsula between April 8-18, with Australia contributing two AP-3C Orions and the exercise’s only submarine.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Dechaineux Commander Glen Miles said operating as the enemy or “Red Force”, HMAS Dechaineux’s role in the exercise was to test the responses from participating nations’ navy vessels.
“We operated in shallow waters amongst high concentrations of fishing vessels conducting simulated attacks on surface ships from Malaysian, Singaporean and New Zealand Navies,” Commander Miles said.
Throughout the exercise the submarine was hunted by two AP-3C Orion aircraft from RAAF’s 92 Wing, based at RAAF Edinburgh in South Australia.
The AP-3C Orion aircraft flew a total of seven sorties in support of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA)-led exercise allowing the AP-3C crews to hone their skills in a complex multinational exercise environment involving naval and air forces.
The FPDA, of which Australia was a founding member and this year celebrates its 42nd anniversary, is the longest-standing multilateral arrangement in South-east Asia and has maintained relevance in the contemporary security environment.