Australia participates in regional counter-terrorism exercise

Published on SBLT David Myers (author), Unknown (Royal Navy Photographer) (photographer)

Location(s): Singapore, Brunei, Brunei Darussalam

HMAS Anzac (foreground) sails in company with Royal Malaysian Navy ships KD Selangor and KD Lekir in the South China Sea during Exercise Bersama Shield 16.  (photo: UK)
HMAS Anzac (foreground) sails in company with Royal Malaysian Navy ships KD Selangor and KD Lekir in the South China Sea during Exercise Bersama Shield 16.

HMA Ships Anzac and Bathurst, along with Australian Special Forces and headquarters staff, are providing Australia’s contribution to a regional maritime security and counter-terrorism exercise in Brunei and Singapore this week.

Australia is joining 17 other ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) nations participating in the exercise to build practical cooperation and promote information sharing between regional militaries.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said the Australian contingent and their counterparts will rehearse their responses to a maritime terrorism scenario during the exercise.

“Terrorism knows no national boundaries, and the security of regional sea lines is critical to regional stability and prosperity,” Minister Payne said.

The exercise will include simulated ‘vessel of interest’ boardings from sea and air, officer exchanges with other Navies and beach landings.

Commanding Officer HMAS Bathurst, Lieutenant Commander David Shirvington, said the exercise improves interoperability and fosters mutual understanding between nations.

“The exercise provides a valuable opportunity for ship’s from the Australian Navy to integrate with other Navies to enhance procedures for maritime security and counter-terrorism cooperation in the busiest and most complex maritime zone in the world,” he said.

“This co-operation provides a foundation for future engagement in areas where all our national interests overlap.”
Australian joined the ADMM-Plus forum in 2010, which now has six priority areas of cooperation; counter terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security, military medicine, peacekeeping operations, and humanitarian mine action.

This current exercise is a result of Australia and Singapore’s work as co-chairs of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working group on Counter Terrorism, and demonstrates the maturity of the ADMM-Plus as a regional institution.