Exercise Bersama Padu 2010 (BP10) has begun with Australian Army personnel, for the first time, participating along with personnel from the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

The exercise is part of the Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) and includes armed forces from Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK.

The exercise provides participants with high-complexity air combat training opportunities, and helps them test and practise deployment capabilities away from the home base.

The exercise will enhance the interoperability of air, ground and naval forces of member nations, chief of joint operations Lieutenant General Mark Evans said.

Four Australian ships, an Australian clearance dive team from HMAS Waterhen Sydney, eight F/A-18s from RAAF, an Australian Army platoon and 60 ADF support staff will participate in the exercise.

The FPDA was established 39 years ago and serves as a forum for the exchange of views among the defence ministers and senior defence officials of its member states.