|Royal Australian Navy sailor Able Seaman Electronics Technician Duane McCurdy tests connections in a communications panel on-board HMAS Warramunga during Exercise Bersama Lima. (photo: CPL Sebastian Beurich)|
The Five Power Defense Arrangements exercise was conducted in Malaysia, Singapore and over the South China Sea, and involved air, maritime and land elements from the five member nations; Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
The Commander of the Australian Contingent, Wing Commander Gregory Jervis, said all the Australian Force Elements gained significant training value from the exercise.
“The Australian contingent has enjoyed the interoperability opportunities from working with other Five Power Defense Arrangements nations to achieve exercise objectives,” he said
“Navy gained enormous benefit from operating in a congested maritime environment with partner navies, and Army and Air Force have come away with valuable outcomes from working within combined Command and Control environments.”
Approximately 520 Australian Defense Force personnel participated in this year's iteration, along with HMA Ships Warramunga and Yarra.
The Air Force contingent consisted of F/A-18A Hornet fighter attack aircraft, an AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail command and control aircraft and a KA350 King Air tactical utility aircraft. Army was represented by a platoon from Rifle Company Butterworth (based in Malaysia).
Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnson, said the Five Power Defense Arrangements exercises continue to enhance the Australian Defense Force’s ability to operate alongside regional and international partners.
“The mix of nations involved, along with variations in equipment and procedures, gives Australian forces an excellent training opportunity to build personal relationships and integrate as part of a multinational force for a wide scope of operations including security and humanitarian aid missions,” he said.“The Five Power Defense Arrangements is a key component of our regional engagement, and we look forward to more training opportunities in 2017.”