Asia Pacific exercise Bersama Shield kicks off

Exercise Bersama Shield, an annual Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) Field Training Exercise, started April 18.

The exercise is attended by the founding members of the Five Power Defence Arrangements: Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

More than 200 Australian Defence Force personnel will participate in the exercise being held in FPDA exercise areas in the South China Sea between April 18th and 29th.

Major Australian Defence Force platforms assigned to Exercise Bersama Shield 16 include the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Anzac and the patrol boat HMAS Bathurst, while the Royal Australian Air Force has contributed an AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and a KA350 King Air tactical mobility aircraft.

Commander of the Australian Contingent Wing Commander Paul Webb said working alongside FPDA partners demonstrates the dynamic nature of Australia’s role and cooperation in South East Asia.

“Exercise Bersama Shield 16 highlights the diversity of Defence relationships Australia maintains in the region,” Wing Commander Webb said.

“The relationships forged at FPDA exercises then become incredibly valuable when we respond together to real-time crisis situations, such as regional disasters.”