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NZDF in South China Sea exercise

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/10/2016

New Zealand Defence Force personnel are heading to the South China Sea for a multinational exercise aimed at regional security, humantarian aid and disaster relief support.

© Hannah Peters/Getty Images

A 60-strong Navy, Army and Air Force contingent, along with a P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft, will join counterparts from Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Britain for three weeks of training as part of Exercise Bersama Lima.

Organised by Singapore, Bersama Lima is conducted annually by member countries of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA).

Major General Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, says strengthening the professional relationships with FPDA members is important to ensure interoperability when it matters most.

Under the FPDA, signed in 1971, members are to consult each other and decide what measures to take if there is an armed attack on Malaysia or Singapore.

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