Bersama Lima 2014 Comes to a Close

Exercise Bersama Lima 2014 (BL14) concluded on 22 October with Australian Defence Force personnel joining Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) partners at a closing ceremony at Changi Naval Base in Singapore.

The FPDA is the longest-standing multilateral arrangement in South East Asia and has maintained relevance in the contemporary security environment.

Bersama Lima is one of the most significant exercises within the FPDA series of activities.

Exercise Director for BL14 Rear Admiral Timothy Lo from the Singapore Armed Forces, said all the exercise objectives for BL14 were achieved.

Commander of the Australian Contingent Group Captain Dennis Tan said the FPDA nations’ collective success this year demonstrated that Bersama Lima continues to grow and strengthen as an important strategic engagement in this region.

It is through genuine friendships and understanding that we will be able to overcome future challenges in the region should they arise.

The five nations of the FPDA — Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom — worked together closely during the two week exercise to successfully defend against a fictitious security threat in and around the Malay Peninsula.

Commander of the United Kingdom contingent Brigadier Peter Cameron said one of the aims of BL14 was to enhance interoperability between the nations and strengthen the professional relationships.

We have shared interests and so we come together in this arrangement, to work together, which we do to build bonds. When you have bonds, you have trust and when you have trust, you can do anything. By building that in a virtuous circle of what we share and how we combine together positively, we get somewhere.

Malaysia will host the next Exercise Bersama Lima in 2015.

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Press release, Image: Australian Department of Defence