The RAF have announced that Typhoon fighters have arrived in Malaysia to begin preparations for Exercise Bersama Lima, the annual Five Powers Defence Arrangement exercise.

The RAF say that pilots and ground crew from the 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.”

The Officer Commanding II (AC) Squadron said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity to train together with our Commonwealth Allies in Asia. The RAF have 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.”

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.

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It’s absolutely mind boggling all the Ex RAF bases in the UK (there’s 10+ alone around me on the moray Firth) and around the Globe there’s hundreds including EX RAF Butterworth in Malaysia where the Lossiemouth typhoon lads have landed, and there were Vulcans and Canberra’s based there and bloodhound missiles, amazing. My Grandparents have great memory’s of RAF Malaysia and Singapore bases I’ve grew up on them old story’s.

Daniele Mandelli

When the RAF was a real force with numbers.

Nick C

I was a child in Singapore in the mid sixties, the RAF had Javelins out there then, and some Canberras, the RAAF had Mirage 3’s at Butterworth, and the Navy had 2 fixed wing carriers and 1 Commando carrier permanently in the area, together with HMAS Melbourne from time to time. Very much the last days of Empire, by the time I went back in the 70’s we were down to 2 Frigates!

David Barry

I wish I had known more about the Sri Lankan stop-over. As that country transitions towards democracy we should be doing far more with them.


Interesting. All just as the UK transitions into
a tinpot dictatorship under Pipsqueek Bercow.

John Hampson

I was off the Malaysian coast between 2103 and 2014. When we moved location we were followed by a Chinese Coastguard corvette with a PLAN destroyer. On arrival at a new location, the Chinese would inform us that we were in Chinese waters without permission and we were to depart. During this time a Chinese amphibious task force held exercises at James Shoal and the Commander told his Marine force to be prepared to fight to defend China’s territory. ( Text of his speech was reported on Beijing TV ). The shoal is only 50 miles of the Malaysian coast.… Read more »