Afghanistan — Partners in Peace Enhance Regional Security

Aus­tralia and the oth­er mem­bers of the Five Pow­er Defence Arrange­ment (FPDA) today com­plet­ed a major mil­i­tary exer­cise to plan and con­duct a joint mil­i­tary oper­a­tion for the defence of Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore.

The FPDA coun­tries — Aus­tralia, Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore, New Zealand and the UK — con­duct­ed Exer­cise Bersama Shield 2011 from 2–13 May. Par­tic­i­pants were chal­lenged to joint­ly plan and exe­cute tac­ti­cal mis­sions for 46 com­bat air­craft and nine war­ships.

Over the past 11 days FPDA war­ships and a diverse range of com­bat air­craft have engaged in com­plex air defence exer­cis­es.

The tac­ti­cal mis­sions involved the inte­gra­tion of dif­fer­ent air­craft types, coor­di­nat­ed by 130 FPDA per­son­nel at But­ter­worth Air Base in Malaysia. The exer­cise was a use­ful chal­lenge for Australia’s new F/A‑18F Super Hor­nets, and the RAN guid­ed mis­sile frigates, HMA Ships Bal­larat and Par­ra­mat­ta.

The Super Hor­nets, from 1 Squadron at RAAF Base Amber­ley in Queens­land, trained along­side Malaysian MiG-29 inter­cep­tors and Sin­ga­pore­an F‑16s. The com­bined mar­itime task group con­duct high­ly real­is­tic air defence exer­cis­es.

The Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of 1 Squadron, Wing Com­man­der Glen Braz, said the Aus­tralian Super Hor­nets prac­ticed air com­bat tac­tics that enhanced the Air Force’s expe­ri­ence of air com­bat with region­al defence forces.

“This type of train­ing is espe­cial­ly ben­e­fi­cial for expos­ing our air­crew to a high­ly com­plex and mul­ti-nation­al envi­ron­ment that aids in devel­op­ing their air com­bat skills and expe­ri­ence,” he said.

Com­man­der Aus­tralian Con­tin­gent, Wing Com­man­der Ken Robin­son, said the annu­al exer­cise enables the ADF to devel­op rela­tion­ships with impor­tant secu­ri­ty part­ners while rein­forc­ing Australia’s long-term com­mit­ment to region­al sta­bil­i­ty.

“The ADF par­tic­i­pat­ed in the exer­cise, which marks its 40th anniver­sary this year,” he said.

The exer­cise includ­ed a mul­ti-nation­al sports day on Tioman Island, in the South Chi­na Sea, where the crews of Par­ra­mat­ta and Bal­larat com­pet­ed in friend­ly games of sport against their counter-parts from the Roy­al Navy, the Repub­lic of Sin­ga­pore Navy, the New Zealand Navy and the Malaysian Navy.

HMAS Bal­larat will now look for­ward to sup­port­ing the Inter­na­tion­al Mar­itime Defence Exhi­bi­tion (IMDEX) to be held in Sin­ga­pore, while HMAS Par­ra­mat­ta will be con­duct­ing a port vis­it to Cam­bo­dia.

The two ANZAC Class ships will then sail to Thai­land to par­tic­i­pate in Exer­cise AUSTHAI 11, a com­bined bien­ni­al exer­cise between the Roy­al Thai Navy and the RAN, which aims to improve inter­op­er­abil­i­ty and enhance pro­fi­cien­cy in mar­itime war-fight­ing skills.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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