Australia: Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 2013 Concludes

Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 2013 Concludes

Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 2013 was conducted on the South China Sea, Singapore and the Malaysian Peninsula between 8-18 April.

Australia was the only nation to deploy a submarine in support of Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 2013.

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.

“For the crew of HMAS Dechaineux, Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 13 provided a fantastic opportunity to practice the ‘hide and seek’ of submarine warfare in busy waterways.”

Throughout the exercise the submarine was “hunted” by two AP-3C Orion aircraft from Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) 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 Five Power Defence Arrangements is the longest standing multilateral arrangement in South East Asia and has maintained relevance in the contemporary security environment.

The Australian Defence Force was a founding member of the Five Power Defence Arrangements and this year marks the 42nd anniversary of our involvement in these exercises.

Exercises such as BERSAMA SHIELD 2013 continue to reinforce the relevance of this long-term relationship to the regional strategic environment.

92 Wing Exercise Detachment Commander Squadron Leader Jesse Laroche said “Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD further enhances the strength of the FPDA relationship, the aircraft and support personnel operated from Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth.

“The squadron regarded the AP-3C participation as a great success, testing exercise interoperability, capability expansion and communication between the Five Power Defence Arrangements Nations,” Squadron Leader Laroche said.

In addition to the AP-3C Orions and HMAS Dechaineux, the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force provided liaison officers who deployed to Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth.

Naval Today Staff, April 22, 2013; Image: Australian Navy