FPDA Defence Chiefs reaffirm regional military cooperation


The Defence Chiefs of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) member countries are in Singapore from 14 to 16 October for the 19th FPDA Defence Chiefs' Conference (FDCC). Chaired by Singapore's Chief of Defence Force (CDF) Lieutenant-General (LG) Melvyn Ong, this year's conference was attended by Australia's CDF, General Angus Campbell; Malaysia's CDF, General Tan Sri Dato' Seri Panglima Hj Zulkifli bin Hj Zainal Abidin; New Zealand's Vice CDF, Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies; and United Kingdom's Vice Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Tim Fraser.


FPDA Defence Chiefs reaffirm regional military cooperation
Chief of Defence Force (CDF) Lieutenant-General Melvyn Tan (centre) with Australia's CDF, Malaysia's CDF, New Zealand's Vice-CDF and United Kingdom's Vice Chief of Defence Staff (left to right) at the 19th FPDA Defence Chiefs’ Conference (FDCC) (Picture source: Singapore MoD)


During the conference, the Defence Chiefs reaffirmed their commitment to the FPDA. They discussed issues surrounding an increasingly complex security environment and agreed on the importance of and continued relevance of the FPDA as it keeps pace with the evolving security challenges within the region. The Defence Chiefs also issued the FPDA Exercise Concept Directive during the conference. The directive will guide the development of future FPDA exercises and activities, to strengthen interoperability and interaction between the defence forces of the five member-nations.

Following the conference, LG Melvyn Ong reiterated the importance of the FPDA in today's regional security architecture. He said, "The FPDA continues to be a constructive arrangement for security in this region. It allows us to bring together militaries from Singapore, Malaysia and the ANZUK countries (Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom)… Over the years, the FPDA and the exercises of the FPDA have also evolved. Exercise Bersama Lima is taking place right now. It allows our troops to work together to enhance interoperability and also to build professional and personal relationships… We are all committed to ensuring that the FPDA continues to be a very meaningful, very relevant, and very successful defence arrangement for security in the region."

The FDCC, which is hosted alternately by Singapore and Malaysia, is the highest professional military forum of the FPDA and serves as an important platform for dialogue and exchange of views among the Defence Chiefs.

The Defence Chiefs were also hosted to lunch by Singapore's Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen this afternoon. The Defence Chiefs will visit Exercise Bersama Lima at Butterworth Air Base, Penang, Malaysia, on 16 October 2019. Held from 1 to 17 October 2019, this year's exercise involves about 3000 personnel, seven ships, 48 aircraft, one submarine, five Ground-Based Air Defence units, five Army platoons, two dive teams and various support elements from the five FPDA member-nations. This year's exercise comprises shore planning and a field training exercise featuring serials in conventional warfare, maritime counter-terrorism and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.


 

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