The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) participated in this year's Exercise Bersama Shield, a Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) multilateral exercise. Held from 5 to 28 April, Exercise Bersama Shield 2021 provided an important platform for personnel from the FPDA member-nations, comprising Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, to build strong ties and strengthen mutual understanding through a series of planning and professional exchanges. The exercise was held in a virtual format for the first time due to COVID-19. Representatives from the five FPDA member-nations as well as from Headquarters Integrated Area Defence System (HQIADS) took part in the virtual exercise. The exercise culminated in a table-top command post exercise where the participants worked together to develop an operational plan.
This year's Exercise Combined Joint Task Force Chief of Staff LTC Benjamin Kim, who also led the Singapore delegation, said, "Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Exercise Bersama Shield continued via virtual means and this is a testament to the commitment of member-nations to the FPDA. This exercise provided opportunities for us to work together, and build professional and personal relationships. With 2021 being the FPDA's 50th anniversary, we are glad to be able to kick off the series of activities that mark this significant milestone in the FPDA's history."
Formed in 1971, the FPDA has evolved over the years to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex contemporary security environment. The FPDA is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year, with a planned line up of exercises and conferences to commemorate this milestone year. Apart from Exercise Bersama Shield, the SAF regularly participates in other FPDA exercises such as Exercise Suman Warrior and Exercise Bersama Lima.