26 September 2014
With the Command Post Exercise (CPX) done and dusted, Exercise Suman Warrior (SW) 14, a Five Powers Defence Arrangement Activity (FPDA), is drawing to its conclusion.
SW14 was held at Linton Military Camp, two hours north of Wellington, NZ, and saw contingents from five nations meet for a tactical level, land based CPX, as well as strengthen regional ties and enhance both friendships and interoperability.
The five nations of the FPDA are Singapore, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Australian and New Zealand.
Commander Australian Contingent LtCol Peter Conroy said he was proud both of the way the entire contingent had performed and with the positive reflection of the ADF in the eyes of Australia's FPDA partners.
"It was a valuable international engagement opportunity, I think the entire contingent will also take away some excellent exposure to New Zealand culture," he said.
"I think we have been very successful, it has helped having the majority of 3BDE HQ here - we have worked together almost exclusively for the last seven months so as a consequence our staff planning and processes are well refined, and I think that was well reflected on this exercise.
"The Australian contingent worked hard in every planning activity to generate a suitable plan for the running and the execution of the CPX - I think the Australian contingent collectively has contributed immensely to the overall success in achieving all the objectives of Ex SW14."
The key message of interoperability, building friendships and partnerships has been well and truly achieved, as well as the invaluable learning experience from participating in a CPX for all nations of the FPDA.
"While the CPX is the vehicle for building those relationships, people have understood that while there's a job to do with respect to the planning and execution of that activity, but there is also a range of other activities that are equally as important, such as sport, cultural experiences and formal functions," LtCol Conroy said.
"Of course there are lessons to be learnt, but overall we were highly successful - the capabilities in terms of experience and training we brought to SW14 were right on the money, especially the mentoring capability we were able to deliver to some of the other countries."
As 3BDE are pencilled in for SW15 which is to be held in Singapore, LtCol Conroy said they were looking forward to solidifying some of the key lessons from SW 14 and are well on track for a visit to Singapore.
"There are some key staff on this activity who will take their experience to Singapore along with the key take-aways from this activity into Suman Warrior 15 - it'll be a good one.