Exercise Bersama Lima, a major Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) joint exercise involving air, naval and land forces from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom, concluded its sea phase on 19 October 2016. Hosted by Singapore, the exercise takes place from 6 to 21 October 2016, and involves more than 3,000 personnel, 71 aircraft, 11 ships, a submarine, five Ground-Based Air Defence units, four platoons of ground troops, three dive teams and various support elements from the FPDA member-nations.
This year's exercise commenced with a shore planning phase in the Changi Command and Control Centre (CC2C), which planned and tasked missions to the participating forces. The CC2C also served as the headquarters that controlled and monitored the exercise. The exercise saw the FPDA naval forces conduct two-sided serialised training, such as naval gun firings, encounter exercises, helicopter operations and anti-air defence exercises. Participating fighters, surveillance aircraft and helicopters from the five FPDA air forces conducted complex air defence scenarios, as well as supported air-sea training in the areas of anti-submarine, surface search and targeting. In addition, there were fighter land-aways between the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The land forces of the FPDA member-nations also conducted professional exchanges and urban operations training in a built-up environment.
As part of the FPDA's move to incorporate non-conventional scenarios in its exercises, a two-day humanitarian assistance and disaster relief planning operation, involving humanitarian organisations such as the Singapore Red Cross and Mercy Relief, was also conducted in conjunction with the exercise.
During the sea phase, Permanent Secretary for Defence Mr Chan Yeng Kit hosted the high commissioners and senior representatives from the other FPDA member-nations to observe the naval component as well as the urban operations training on 13 October 2016. Exercise Director Colonel Cheong Kwok Chien highlighted the significance of the conduct of the exercise. He said, "FPDA member-nations continue to have an important stake in maintaining regional peace and security, and the FPDA continues to be an important component in this region as it evolves to meet the demands of the increasingly complex security environment. Exercise Bersama Lima not only facilitates the sharing of professional knowledge and experiences, but also enhances mutual understanding, trust and interoperability between personnel from all FPDA member-nations."