Yesterday Tuesday 1 November, I attended the 40th Anniversary of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FDPA) Defence Ministers Meeting in Singapore.
I was accompanied by the Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley and Secretary of the Department of Defence, Duncan Lewis.
While in Singapore I laid a wreath at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, also known as Kranji Cemetery.
Defence Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the FPDA as an integral part of regional security architecture, contributing to peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region.
Ministers endorsed the recommendations of the 40th Anniversary Stocktake Paper, which will lead to improved joint capabilities, interoperability and enhanced people to people interaction through multilateral exercises. Ministers agreed the FPDA would further develop capacity to respond to modern security challenges such as counter terrorism, anti-piracy and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
I also joined my FPDA counterparts for a call on Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
This morning, I laid a wreath at the Changi Chapel, site of the infamous World War II Prisoner of War camp which held over 35,000 Allied soldiers, including 15,000 Australians.
Later today, I travel with FPDA counterparts to the Royal Malaysian Air Force base Butterworth to visit Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel participating in FPDA Exercise BERSAMA LIMA.
FPDA Defence forces are currently participating in Exercise BERSAMA LIMA in the Malaysian Peninsula area. The Exercise involves around 4,000 personnel, 19 warships, 68 military aircraft, as well as support elements from the FPDA countries. Australia’s contribution includes eight F/A-18 Hornets and a Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft.
Mr Smith’s Office: (02) 6277 7800 | Departmental: (02) 6127 1999