Minister for Defence Marise Payne has announced $22 million of investment in Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth to ensure the base remains fit for purpose well into the future.
Minister Payne said, "Australian Defence Force personnel have had a presence at Butterworth for 60 years and the investment reflects the ongoing importance of the base to Australia and Malaysia."
RMAF Butterworth plays host to approximately 50 ADF personnel, which increases to up to 350 during exercises. Meanwhile, the strategic location of the base and the nation's continuing commitment to regional stability, security and capacity building provides the basis for increasing Australia's role in the region.
The announcement was made at the inaugural Malaysia-Australia High Level Committee meeting on Defence Co-operation held at RMAF Butterworth and comes as the nations celebrate the 60th anniversary of Australia's presence in Malaysia this week.
During the meet, Australia committed to continuing support for the development of Malaysia's Urban Combat Training facility; increasing the number of Defence scholarships offered to Malaysia for study in Australia each year from five to eight; and providing further sustainment support and parts for Malaysia's F/A-18 fleet.
"These initiatives will further strengthen Australia and Malaysia's strong and longstanding Defence relationship, which is based on longstanding people-to-people links, shared interests and shared values," said Minister Payne.