17 September 2014
Military personnel from the five nations attending Ex Suman Warrior 14 have come together on a different battlefield - they have met through the mutual love of sport.
New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom have participated in a closely contested sports round-robin of basketball, volleyball and soccer.
Australian Army Captain Tony Sulicich said it was a nice break from the formal side of the exercise.
"It's been great engaging with our international partners, and representing Australia," he said.
"We've won two out of our three soccer games, and we're in high spirits.
"It's really important to conduct these sporting events on exercises like this as we get to relate with our international partners in a context that is above and beyond what we are doing here.
"It lets us build on those relationships and sets those foundations for greater international cooperation."
Sergeant Rebecca Harvey said she was looking forward to this sports component of the exercise.
"It's been really good to see everyone showing camaraderie though sport, as well as their competitive side too," she said.
"One of the best things about sport is it breaks down our rank barriers, and you also get to be yourself out on the court."
RAAF Sgt Jo Beardmore said she enjoyed the break from learning about battlefield management systems.
"It's important to conduct these sporting events as we all get to come together in a relaxed environment," she said.
"Getting out and doing a bit of sport is always good for morale and it brings us together in a way that is fun -; it also provides cohesion which will stand us in good stead for when we are knuckling down back in the office."The contingent from Australia ended up finishing second overall behind host nation, New Zealand - by winning volleyball and placing third in the soccer competition and fourth in the Basketball.