The 2018 edition of the annual Exercise Bersama Shield was held from 28 April to 15 May, as part of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA). This multilateral defence relationship is the world’s second-oldest, involving the countries of Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
The FPDA came about following Britain’s withdrawal of its military forces “East of the Suez”, and on the need for close cooperation in view of the indivisibility of Malaysia’s and Singapore’s defence. Under the agreement, in the event of any external aggression or threat against the Malay Peninsula or Singapore, the five countries will consult with one another on measures to be taken. The FPDA superceded the 1957 Anglo-Malayan Defence Agreement (AMDA), and came into effect on 1 November 1971.
As part of the agreement, the Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) was set up in Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Butterworth Air Base on 1 September 1971, overseen by the Air Defence Council (ADF). A Joint Consultative Council (JCC) was also formed for senior officials to discuss defence matters. In 1994, the ADC and JCC were replaced by the FPDA Consultative Council, and in 2000, the IADS has renamed the Integrated Area Defence System.
MAphotoSG members were able to photograph The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) F-15s and F-16s as they departed from their respective bases for the air component of the exercise.