3 October 2016
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending a 60-strong contingent and a P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft to Malaysia this week to take part in an annual multi-national exercise.
Members from the Navy, Army and Air Force and the Orion from the Air Force’s No. 5 Squadron are joining naval and air personnel and assets from Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom to carry out three weeks of training as part of Exercise Bersama Lima, which will be held in the South China Sea exercise area.
Organised by Singapore, Bersama Lima is conducted annually by member countries of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA).
Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major General Tim Gall says strengthening the professional relationships with FPDA members is important to ensure interoperability when it matters most.
“Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom are our partners. Exercising with them enhances our understanding and our ability to work together to successfully provide security in the Southeast Asia region, as well as humanitarian aid and disaster relief support.”
The FPDA was established by a series of multilateral agreements between the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore signed in 1971. They state that the signatories are to consult each other in the event or threat of an armed attack on Malaysia or Singapore, to decide what measures should be taken in response.
The NZDF contingent will return to New Zealand in late October.