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Published on : Saturday, November 9, 2013
The air forces of Malaysia and Singapore Malaysia will deploy jetfighters to each others’ air bases in the first cross basing exercise between them since 1998, said Armed Forces Chief Zulkifeli Mohd Zin.
He said this was part of the two-week joint exercise of the Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) member states involving 2,000 members of the defence forces, 68 aircraft, 10 ships and a number of ground-based air defence units starting Nov 6.
The cross deployment stipulated under the Base Support Arrangement (BSA) would enabled the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) to cooperate and assist each to cater to the needs and requirements in terms of security of both countries.
“It is also aimed at enhancing ties and understanding among members of RMAF and RSAF,” he told a news conference in conjunction with the opening ceremony of Exercise Bersama Lima 2013 (Ex s BL 13) at the RMAF airbase in Butterworth.
He said the joint exercise entailed the army, naval and air firepower among FPDA member states comprising the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia.
Zulkifeli the exercise involved command post exercise at the Butterworth Airbase and field training exercise over the South China Sea.
He said the training would boost bilateral cooperation between Malaysia and Singapore as it would enhance understanding during mutual cross deployment of aircraft between the two countries.
“Five Hawk MK 208 will be deployed by the RMAF while five F-16C/D will be dispatched by the RSAF during the exercise,” he added.
The Ex s BL 13 opening ceremony was also attended by Australia chief of defence force Gen David John Hurley, Singapore chief of defence force Lt-Gen Ng Chee Meng, New Zealand chief of defence force Lt-Gen Richard Rhys Jones, and British RAF Regiment’s Commandant General Air Commodore Nick Bray.
The FPDA was put in place in 1971 as a “loose consultative political framework” to replace the Anglo-Malaysian Defence Agreement when Britain pulled its troops out of Singapore and Malaysia.