Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters have arrived in Malaysia to begin preparations for Exercise Bersama Lima, the annual Five Powers Defence Arrangement exercise.
Pilots and ground crew from the RAF Lossiemouth based II (Army Cooperation) Squadron, plus supporting personnel from across the Royal Air Force have deployed to the Malaysian Air Force base at Butterworth, Penang, Malaysia to take part in the exercise.
The jets have flown in after a stopover in Sri Lanka. Previously the jets had been flown as part of the recently completed Exercise Magic Carpet in the Middle East.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to train together with our Commonwealth Allies in Asia. The RAF has conducted this exercise for many years now, and we look forward to celebrating 50 years of the Five Powers Defence Arrangement in the near future.
“During the exercise we will all be sharing knowledge and expertise in the tactical environment, continuing to develop our combined skills and procedures. We have been warmly welcomed by the Royal Malaysian Air Force at Butterworth Air Base and we very much look forward to continuing to share friendship, flying and experience”, said Officer Commanding II (AC) Squadron.
The move from Scotland has been facilitated by the support of Voyager aircraft that have conducted Air to Air Refuelling over the Indian Ocean and C17 aircraft conducting freight runs from the UK.
The Five Powers Defence Arrangement is the cornerstone of British defence policy in the region and brings the militaries of Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom together in a defensive arrangement in the region.
This year the RAF has deployed Typhoons to Malaysia and will be joined by a 10 Squadron Voyager usually based at RAF Brize Norton but for the exercise, it will based in Singapore to support II (AC) Squadron sorties. This means over 200 RAF personnel will be deployed plus small detachments from the Army and the Royal Marines.