Australia — ADF assets exercise around Malaysia

Aus­tralian Air Force mul­ti-role F/A‑18F Super Hor­nets will soar through the sky over Malaysia while Navy guid­ed-mis­sile frigates and a Collins class sub­ma­rine will patrol the South Chi­na Sea in a major mil­i­tary exer­cise com­menc­ing today.

Exer­cise BERSAMA SHIELD 2011 (BS11) will see six F/A‑18 Super Hor­nets from No. 1 Squadron, the ANZAC class frigates HMA Ships Bal­larat and Par­ra­mat­ta, and the Collins class sub­ma­rine, HMAS Dechaineux, join oth­er war­ships and com­bat air­craft from Sin­ga­pore, Malaysia, New Zealand and the Unit­ed King­dom.

The Com­man­der of the Aus­tralian Con­tin­gent, Wing Com­man­der Ken­neth Robin­son, said the exer­cise will be con­duct­ed by mem­ber coun­tries of the Five Pow­er Defence Arrange­ment (FPDA) in var­i­ous loca­tions on the Malaysian Penin­su­la and in the South Chi­na Sea between 2 and 13 May.

“The exer­cise aims to enhance the inter­op­er­abil­i­ty of the com­bined air, ground and naval forces of the FPDA coun­tries to enhance region­al secu­ri­ty, includ­ing the defence of Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia,” Wing Com­man­der Robin­son said.

“The FPDA con­tin­ues to be an inte­gral part of the region­al secu­ri­ty archi­tec­ture, which helps devel­op greater inter­op­er­abil­i­ty among the armed forces of mem­ber nations.”

The exer­cise marks a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone for the Air Force’s new F/A‑18F Super Hor­nets, with this their first over­seas deploy­ment since arriv­ing in 2010. The Super Hor­net per­mits Aus­tralia to main­tain a for­mi­da­ble air com­bat capa­bil­i­ty dur­ing the tran­si­tion to the F‑35 Joint Strike Fight­er over the next decade.

BS11 will pro­vide the F/A‑18 Super Hor­nets with the oppor­tu­ni­ty to train with Roy­al Malaysian Air Force MiG-29s and Repub­lic of Sin­ga­pore F‑16s,” Wing Com­man­der Robin­son said.

“The exercise’s mar­itime com­po­nent involv­ing the ANZAC class frigates, HMA Ships Bal­larat and Par­ra­mat­ta, and the Collins class sub­ma­rine, HMAS Dechaineux, will enhance high-end war-fight­ing skills in a high­ly com­plex mar­itime envi­ron­ment.”

BERSAMA SHIELD, mark­ing its 40th anniver­sary this year, pro­vides the ADF with the oppor­tu­ni­ty to devel­op rela­tion­ships with impor­tant secu­ri­ty part­ners while rein­forc­ing Australia’s long-term com­mit­ment to region­al sta­bil­i­ty.

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

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