Warships, combat aircraft, and soldiers from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) will join the armed forces of Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom in a major military exercise focussed on enhancing regional security.
Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 2010 will be conducted under the auspices of the Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) in various locations on the Malaysian Peninsula and in the South China Sea between 26 April and 7 May 2010.
About 240 personnel, 19 ships, 59 aircraft and various support elements are involved in the exercise that will enhance the interoperability of the combined air, ground and naval forces of the FPDA countries.
Chief of Joint Operations Command, Lieutenant General Mark Evans, said the ADF will participate in the exercise as one of the founding members of the FPDA, which was established almost 40 years ago as a regional security initiative.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Lieutenant General Evans said BERSAMA SHIELD also provides the ADF with the opportunity to develop relationships with important security partners while reinforcing Australia’s long-term commitment to regional stability.
The ADF assets involved in this exercise include HMA Ships Anzac and Success, eight F/A‑18 combat aircraft from 75 Squadron and an AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft from 92 Squadron.
The Commander of the ASC, Wing Commander Kenneth Robinson, said BS10 would continue to develop and validate doctrines and procedures for interoperability among FPDA nations’ navies, armies and air forces in a combined, joint scenario.
“BS10 is a fantastic opportunity not only for the Royal Australian Air Force but all the ADF assets and personnel involved to enhance key skills in an international environment,” he said.
Australian Ministry of Defence