17 October 2011
NZ Defence Force have embarked on Exercise BERSAMA LIMA 2011 (BL11) hosted by the Singapore Armed Forces.
The exercise aims to improve the interoperability of the combined air, ground and naval forces of FPDA partners to enhance regional security. BL11 is set in a multi-threat environment for the defence of Malaysia and Singapore and focuses on both operational and tactical levels of warfare.
The FPDA partners are Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, and 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of the region's longest active defence agreement, the second oldest military agreement after NATO.
Defence Force assets include HMNZS TE KAHA, an RNZAF P3-K Orion, the RNZN Operational Dive Team (ODT) and NZ Army, RNZN and RNZAF personnel will deploy to Singapore and Malaysia to participate alongside other FPDA nations.
The Exercise includes a combination of real time Field Training Exercises (FTX) in the South China Sea and Command Post Exercises (CPX) designed to test FPDA nations working together to deliver the best effect.
The Defence Force's commitment to the FPDA and Bersama Lima 2011 remains strong and this is evident in the assets and personnel that we are deploying, says Commander Joint Forces NZ, Major General Dave Gawn.
"Our ability to operate alongside FPDA partner nations is critical to successfully providing security within the South East Asia region.
“Working with other nations in a multi-threat environment is something we cannot replicate in NZ and is therefore a good opportunity to further develop our capabilities