Joint US Army/Indonesia Exercise 'Garuda Shield' Begins
June 11, 2013
CILODONG, Indonesia -- More than ten days of intensive joint training involving U.S. and Indonesian troops is underway with the start of Garuda Shield 13.
Several hundred U.S. and Indonesian troops took part in the exercise's opening ceremony at the Indonesian Army base here Jun 10. The Honorable Scot Marciel, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia, and exercise co-directors Maj. Gen. Gary Hara, Deputy Commanding General for the Army National Guard, U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) and Maj. Gen. Daniel Ambat, Kostrad 1st Division Commander, spoke at the ceremony.
The exercise includes planning and executing a combined brigade-level command post exercise based on United Nations (U.N.) scenario and a field-training exercise based on a rescue operation scenario. The exercise involves troops from U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC); the Tentara Nasional Indonesia Army (TNI-AD), Kostrad 1st Division; 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division; and the Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Darat, 17th Airborne Brigade.
Along with a series of parachute jumps, about 500 paratroopers of both nations will conduct infantry training and operations during the exercise.
The exercise will focus on developing the respective militaries' ability to contribute to U.N. peace support operations, and on strengthening the nations' growing military relationship. This marks the seventh iteration of this bilateral exercise since 2004.
"This exercise contributes to achieving U.S. and Indonesia Security objectives by improving the overall stability of the Pacific region," Marciel said.
Garuda Shield 13 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises designed to strengthen military-to-military cooperation while focusing on international peace support operations, Hara said. The exercise enables the United States and Indonesia to engage in military affairs as well as partners in the Asia-Pacific, and demonstrates that both nations' emphasize and recognize the importance of security and stability of the region, he explained.
Ambat stressed the importance of implementing realistic training scenarios, terrain and interactive tasks to develop knowledge and experience.
"This exercise is expected to provide a common understanding for the soldiers in the implementation of global peace operations, airborne operation, social and humanitarian aid operations," Ambat said.