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TRANSITION TO CIVVY STREET
November 21, 2013
Bersama Lima kicks off
FLTLT Cath Friend
RAAF elements have kicked into
gear with Exercise Bersama Lima
2013 (BL13) in full force.
More than 500 Australians are
taking part in the two-week exercise
during which air, ground and naval
assets from five nations are exer-
cising in different locations across
the Malaysian Peninsula and South
At the opening ceremo-
ny, Malaysia's Joint Forces
Commander, LTGEN Dato' Abu
Bakar bin Md Said, said he hoped
participants from each FPDA nation
would learn from each other.
"I hope participants establish
lasting networks while strength-
ening camaraderie and esprit-de-
corps," he said. "I am confident you
will find this exercise meaningful
BL13 is part of the Five Power
Defence Arrangements (FPDA)
exercise program, and aims to cul-
tivate regional ties and enhance
Australia's interoperability, capac-
ity and relationships with the armed
forces of Malaysia, New Zealand,
Singapore and the United Kingdom.
The Malaysian Armed Forces
have taken the lead in organising
two distinct exercise components.
The first is the command post exer-
cise (CPX) and the second a field
training exercise (FTX).
The CPX is a planning exercise
without the use of simulation. It's a
combined and joint operation using
the joint military appreciation pro-
cess to enhance interoperability and
professional relationships, as each
of the component groups are made
up of FPDA members and each ser-
The FTX aims to exercise FPDA
forces in a Malaysia and Singapore
defence scenario during a period of
tension and possible armed conflict,
driven by the schedule of events.
More than 60 Air Force plat-
forms from the FPDA member
nations -- including RAAF F/A-
18A/B Hornets, KC-30A, E-7A,
AP-3C Orion and a KA350 -- are
being launched from Singapore and
Malaysia in response to the scenar-
io. Now in its 42nd year, the FPDA
is the longest standing multilateral
defence arrangement in South East
Asia, and has continued to maintain
relevance in the contemporary secu-
Full wrap-up of Exercise Bersama Lima
2013 in the December 5 edition.
flags of the five
Photo: SGT Shane
Fox's full circle
WGCDR Rick Subotkiewicz
SQNLDR John Fox's career in the
ADF has ended just as it started
-- inside an Armoured Personnel
SQNLDR Fox is the OIC of the
Training Flight at No. 24 (City of
Adelaide) Squadron and will retire
in December. To mark the occa-
sion, an APC from the 7th Brigade,
Royal Australian Regiment, visit-
ed the squadron on October 17 to
give SQNLDR Fox a nostalgic ride
around the base.
It brought back a lot of memo-
"Today's APC is more user-
friendly in terms of manoeuvrabil-
ity, ride and noise levels, however,
some things haven't changed -- and
that's the level of comfort and vibra-
tion," he said.
SQNLDR Fox joined the Army
in July 1965 at the age of 18 and,
after initial training, found himself
in Vietnam as an APC driver with
the 3rd Cavalry Regiment.
He was involved in the Tet
Offensive in February 1968 in the
village of Baria, just south of the
Australian Task Force Base at Nui
Dat.On a second tour of duty in
Vietnam in March 1970, he was
back in an APC, this time as a crew
Following his return to Australia,
and a number of postings, he dis-
charged from the Army in June
1977 and embarked on a career in
logistics as a civilian.
In August 1986, the call of the
military got the better of him and
he joined the RAAF as a FLGOFF
"equipo", serving in a variety of
roles both in Australia and overseas.
He said one of his more memo-
rable postings was to the Mobile
Air Terminal Unit at RAAF Base
Richmond, which took him to
places such as Somalia, Cambodia,
Solomon Islands, Papua New
Guinea, Kiribati, Fiji and the United
Commanding Officer 24SQN
WGCDR Ewen Seabrook said
SQNLDR Fox had made a sig-
nificant contribution to Defence in
several roles and had excelled on
"During his time at RAAF Base
Edinburgh, people have come to
know him for his professional and
dedicated manner, his high stand-
ards and corporate knowledge, as
well as his dry sense of humour,"
WGCDR Seabrook said.
"John is quite an icon at
Edinburgh. While he will be sorely
missed, we wish him all the very
best for the next stage of his life."
SQNLDR Fox said the camara-
derie was the most important aspect
of his military service.
"Although the Army and Air
Force have different cultures, the
camaraderie is the same and is what
makes this job unique," he said.
NOSTALGIC APC RIDE: SQNLDR John
Fox enjoys a ride around RAAF Base
Edinburgh aboard a 7RAR Armoured
Personnel Carrier. He began his military
career in 1965 as an Army APC driver and
will retire in December.Photos: LAC David Cotton
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