ADF troops wrap up Exercise Bersama Shield in Malaysia.

By Robert Dougherty

Photo: HMAS Anzac conducts a Light Line Transfer with Royal Malaysian Navy KD Lekir during Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 2023. Photo: LSIS Jarryd Capper. *this image has been digitally altered.

More than 250 Australian Defence Force personnel have taken part in the bi-annual military Exercise Bersama Shield in Malaysia.

Across two weeks, ADF staff cooperated with Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) militaries from Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom from 27 April 27 to 12 May.

The combined joint operations are designed to enhance interoperability and strengthen professional relationships.

Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton AO, CSC, said Exercise Bersama Shield was an important opportunity to exercise with FPDA partners.

“For more than 50 years, Australia has exercised with our FPDA partners to support regional security and develop our professional mastery together,” LTGEN Bilton said.

“Exercises such as Bersama Shield continue to develop and provide the ADF and FPDA partners the opportunity to exercise together in a contemporary and complex environment.”

Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon and KA350 King Air tactical mobility aircraft, and the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Anzac, were also deployed to the exercise.

The Five Power Defence Arrangements were established in 1971 as a security arrangement between Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Malaysia, and Singapore.

“The Bersama series of exercises underlines Australia’s steadfast commitment to investing in our regional partnerships,” LTGEN Bilton said.

“Exercises such as these promote an open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific region and make a meaningful contribution to collective security.”

The next exercise for the FPDA nations is Exercise Bersama Lima, scheduled for October in Malaysia.


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