Australia — ADF joins regional security exercise

Air Force mul­ti-role F/A-18F Super Hor­nets, Navy guid­ed-mis­sile frigates and a Collins class sub­ma­rine will join the armed forces of Sin­ga­pore, Malaysia, New Zealand and the Unit­ed King­dom in a major mil­i­tary exer­cise designed to enhance region­al secu­ri­ty.

The exer­cise called BERSAMA SHIELD 2011 (BS11) will bring togeth­er the mem­ber coun­tries of the Five Pow­er Defence Arrange­ment (FPDA) as they exer­cise in var­i­ous loca­tions on the Malaysian Penin­su­la and in the South Chi­na Sea between 2 and 13 May.

BS11 will involve a total of nine advanced guid­ed-mis­sile frigates, one sub­ma­rine and 46 mod­ern com­bat air­craft, as well as var­i­ous sup­port ele­ments and aims to enhance the inter­op­er­abil­i­ty of the com­bined air, ground and naval forces of the FPDA coun­tries.

The Aus­tralian con­tri­bu­tion to the FPDA exer­cise includes 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.

Chief of Joint Oper­a­tions Com­mand, Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Mark Evans, said the Aus­tralian Defence Force (ADF) will par­tic­i­pate in the exer­cise as one of the found­ing mem­bers of the FPDA, which was estab­lished as an impor­tant region­al secu­ri­ty ini­tia­tive exact­ly 40 years ago in 1971.

BERSAMA SHIELD pro­vides the ADF with the oppor­tu­ni­ty to devel­op rela­tion­ships with impor­tant secu­ri­ty part­ners while rein­forc­ing Australia’s long-term com­mit­ment to region­al sta­bil­i­ty,” Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Evans said.

Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Evans said the FPDA con­tin­ues to be an inte­gral part of the region­al secu­ri­ty archi­tec­ture because of its abil­i­ty to remain rel­e­vant to the needs of its mem­bers by adapt­ing to the chang­ing secu­ri­ty envi­ron­ment.

“Since the FPDA’s for­ma­tion the scope of its activ­i­ties has expand­ed from air defence to the devel­op­ment of joint capa­bil­i­ties, which has helped to devel­op greater inter­op­er­abil­i­ty among the armed forces of mem­ber nations,” he said.

The Com­man­der of the Aus­tralian Con­tin­gent, Wing Com­man­der Ken­neth Robin­son, said BS11 would con­tin­ue to devel­op and val­i­date doc­trines and pro­ce­dures for inter­op­er­abil­i­ty among FPDA nations’ navies, armies and air forces in a com­bined, joint sce­nario.

BS11 is a fan­tas­tic train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty for all the ADF assets and per­son­nel involved to enhance key skills in an inter­na­tion­al envi­ron­ment, while also pro­mot­ing engage­ment and region­al sta­bil­i­ty in a region of vital impor­tance to Aus­tralia” Wing Com­man­der Robin­son said.

Media Con­tact: Defence Media Oper­a­tions: (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

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

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