Military training involving 5 countries in South China Sea ends today with Malaysia-Philippines strengthening defence cooperation


KUALA LUMPUR OCT. 18:  Malaysia was among the five countries apart from Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and United Kingdom that had been involved in the Gold Exercise Together (BG21) that was a military training held in the South China Sea from 8th until 18th Oct. 2021. 

Senior Minister of Defence, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said, all the five countries are members of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) that is a collaboration of the maritime component and air without “touching” and the land held virtually via the “jungle warfare” workshop.

Hishammuddin said, BG21 was implemented exclusively in conjunction with the 50th FPDA that will be celebrated this Thursday whereby Malaysia is the host of the event.

The Senior Minister added, BG21 was implemented with the involvement of 2,647 personnel consisting 780 from Australia; Malaysia (570); New Zealand (309) Singapore (720); United Kingdom (243); and Headquarters Integrated Area Defence Systems (HQIADS)-25.

“In terms of assets, it had involved 48 assets belonging to the military forces of the five countries including 10 sea vessels, one submarine, 25  jet fighters,  six supporting aircrafts and six helicopters,” Hishammuddin said in a press conference held at the Ministry of Defence here today. 

He added, the success of the implementation of BG21as planned is very meaningful as it has proven the commitment of the members of FPDA to continue to cooperate closely in addressing the current safety threats especially in this region.

“The FPDA will celebrate its 50th anniversary 21st October 2021 and all Ministers of Defence from the five member countries will be on a virtual meeting chaired by me as the host of the meeting this time,” Hishammuddin reiterated.      

On another development, Hishammuddin said, he had a video conferencing with the Philippines’ Defence Secretary, Delfin N. Lorenzana that was in line with strengthening the cooperation via defence diplomacy and contacting the counterparts in ASEAN before the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Retreat on November 2021.

In the video conferencing with Delfin Lorenzana virtually today, Hishammuddin said they have discussed several important issues on the regional safety and amongst others include 1) Strengthening defence cooperation Malaysia-Philippines that includes many operations and military training together and reciprocal visits; 2) International Monitoring Team (IMT) in Mindanao, Southern Philippines.

He added the Trilateral Cooperative Arrangements (TCA) between Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines – where he and Lorenzana were satisfied with the intiative that started in 2017in addressing the safety threats in Sulu Sea and Sulawesi. They agreed to have a ministerial meeting in the near future involving the three countries to strengthen the initiative.

Hishammuddin also mentioned that with regards to the military cooperation between Australia, United Kingdom and United States of America (AUKUS), he has stressed that ASEAN should be united and uniform in answering issues that will influence the regional safety including AUKUS. –Malaysia World News


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