Singapore hosts five-country military exercise

Defence chiefs and representatives of the FPDA nations at the opening ceremony of Exercise Bersama Lima 2011.

Singapore is hosting a major Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) joint exercise involving air maritime and land forces from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and United Kingdom.

This year's exercise, Exercise Bersama Lima, will be held from Oct 17 to Nov 4 and will involve 4,000 personnel, 68 aircraft, 18 ships, two submarines and various support elements from the FPDA member nations.

A shore phase will be held at the Changi Command and Control Centre and sea phase will be carried out in the South China Sea.

A two-day humanitarian assistance and disaster relief workshop involving other government departments and non-governmental organisations will be conducted in conjuction with the exercise.

This is part of the exercise's efforts at enhancing interoperability and mutual understanding among the personnel of the FPDA armed forces.

It also serves to strengthen the FPDA's capabilities in dealing with regional security challenges.

Singapore's Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General (LG) Neo Kian Hong and the Malaysian Chief of Defence Forces General Tan Sri Dato' Sri Zulkifeli bin Mohd Zin were present at the opening ceremony this morning.

LG Neo noted that FPDA joint exercises strengthen professional ties and develop military cooperation among member nations.

FPDA Defence Ministers will be visiting Exercise Bersama Lima when they meet in Singapore on Nov 1 in commemoration of the FPDA's 40th anniversary.

Singapore will also be hosting the 8th FPDA Defence Ministers' Meeting on the same day.