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Anzac frigates face test in major exercise

5 May 2011

Over the next two weeks the Royal New Zealand Navy’s ANZAC Frigates TE MANA and TE KAHA will be participating in a Five Powers Defence Arrangements Exercise in the waters of South East Asia.

The Five Power Defence Arrangements provide a framework for defence co-operation between Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom, and came into being on 1 November 1971.

The exercise will involve fast jets, submarines, warships and personnel from all participating nations and is designed to strengthen regional security arrangements.

The exercise takes place in the South China Sea from 2 to 13 May.

The multi-national exercise, named Bersama Shield, involves 1 submarine, 9 ships, 57 fixed wing aircraft (including 8 F-18s, 4 MIG 29s, and 16 F-16s), 5 maritime helicopters and a variety of air and land-based support elements from New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

“The exercise will be an intense and challenging time for the Ships Companies and will serve to provide further opportunities to reinforce the operational training standards that have been achieved to date, throughout this 5 month deployment.,” said Commander John Butcher, Commanding Officer of HMNZS TE MANA, and Commander Task Group of the deployed NZ frigates.

“During the exercise the frigates will come under simulated attack from ships and aircraft giving us the opportunity to test our combat systems and people in realistic circumstances.  Sailors will be on defence watches 24/7 and will be tested across the full range of military skills.”

Exercise Bersama Shield builds on the close working relationship that already exists between the five nations through the Five Power Defence Agreement. 


TE MANA and TE KAHA are combat ready, and capable of operating around the Pacific and Asia or globally to protect New Zealand’s interests. 

Please contact Lieutenant Sarah Campbell - Media Adviser- Navy on 021 244 0638 for further information.

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