The military chiefs of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) member nations have agreed to endorse numerous programmes as a measure to enhance cooperation on traditional military operations.

Malaysia’s Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Mohammad Ab Rahman said the decision was collectively made by the members, namely Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Malaysia, during the 22nd FPDA Defence Chiefs’ Conference (FDCC) today.

“We have set forth a clear directive to guide the development of FPDA exercises and activities, aiming to bolster the capacity for conventional and non-conventional operations.

“This will undoubtedly enhance cooperation not only on traditional military operations but also in terms of interoperability and foster stronger bonds among the armed forces of our five member nations,” he told a press conference after chairing the FDCC.

FDCC is held alternately between Malaysia and Singapore to serve as a forum for the defence chiefs of FPDA, one of the region’s longest-standing defence arrangements, to share perspectives on regional security matters.

Mohammad said the Exercise BERSAMA LIMA 2023 from yesterday until Oct 20, which is among the endorsed programmes, proved the continuousness of the members in enhancing the interoperability and professionalism of their armed forces.

The war exercise covers conventional and non-conventional warfare strategies involving operational planning conducted at the Joint Task Force Headquarters in Kuantan, Pahang.

“It’s followed by the execution of field troop exercises at the tactical level, engaging a substantial force of 2,500 personnel, 44 aircraft and seven ships demonstrating a multifaceted approach to military preparedness.

“Mindful of regional sensitivities, the FDPA observer programme sought to build confidence and transparency by inviting ASEAN defence advisers and attaches to observe the exercise since 2007, including Exercise BERSAMA LIMA 2023,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to a joint statement of the defence chiefs, they have also reaffirmed their commitment to the FPDA and its founding principles, emphasising its continued relevance and defensive nature while evolving at a comfortable pace for all.

“FPDA also emphasised the importance of 3Rs (Remit, Relevance and Reassurance) that guides its development and future outlook. We also underscored the FPDA’s significance as a transparent, constructive, and peace-promoting arrangement within the regional security architecture,” the statement said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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