BERSAMA LIMA and BERSAMA SHIELD are military exercises held each year with forces from New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and the United Kingdom. These countries signed the Five Power Defence Arrangement in 1971 as a commitment to defence co-operation and regional stability in South East Asia.
The BERSAMA exercises are usually based out of Singapore and take place in the South China Sea and around the Malaysian Peninsular. The frigates TE KAHA and TE MANA are regular participants in the exercises and are supported by the Fleet Tanker ENDEAVOUR.
The BERSAMA exercises give the RNZN a valuable opportunity to train and exercise combat skills in large-scale warfare activities. The training includes working as part of a multi-national naval task-force, gaining experience in anti-air and anti-submarine warfare and the opportunity to develop relationships with personnel from the other countries.
The exercises involve large numbers of ships including frigates, submarines and support ships, and a range of aircraft including fast jets like the F/A-18 Hornet. BERSAMA LIMA 2011 involved 19 ships, 2 submarines and 68 aircraft.