The United Kingdom and its partner nations Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand have commenced a two-week military exercise under the Five Power Defence Arrangements the countries signed in 1971.
The Bersama Lima 2023 exercise, which began on Wednesday with Malaysia as the host country, aims to strengthen cooperation between participating countries to maintain regional security. Over 2,300 military personnel are participating in BL23, New Straits Times reported.
According to the U.K.’s Royal Air Force, an RAF Typhoon squadron joined an air defense scenario as part of the event.
Australian Defence Magazine reported that the exercise also involved the use of F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft, C-27J Spartan military transport aircraft and Hobart class guided-missile destroyer HMAS Brisbane.
In a statement, the Malaysian joint force headquarters’ public affairs division said BL23 “is carried out as a field training exercise in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, including the waters and air space of Malaysia’s Exclusive Economic Zone in the South China Sea.”