BANDUNG, Indonesia - Exercise Garuda Shield 09 culminated in a ceremony at the Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Ankatan Darat, or Indonesian Army, Infantry Training Center, approximately 30 minutes from Bandung, Indonesia, June 29.

"Exercises like Garuda Shield, better prepare us to address both traditional dilemmas and unconventional threats that transcend national borders," said Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commanding general, U.S. Army, Pacific.

This was the third iteration of the annual exercise. Normally, a bilateral exercise between Indonesia and the United States, this year was a multi-national exercise which served as the Global Peace Operations Initiative capstone event.

The two-week exercise brought together Soldiers and Marines from nine nations to train on the UN mandated ground-level tasks. GS09 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises designed to promote regional peace and security. The focus of training was peace support operations and GPOI certification, a command post exercise, a field training exercise and humanitarian and civic assistance projects.

"As a result, all the participants at this year's Garuda Shield have become more prepared to participate in international peacekeeping operations," Mixon said.

Tentara Nasional Indonesia- Angkatan Laut, or Indonesian Navy Vice Admiral Y. Didik Heru Purnomo, the head of general staff for the Indonesian Armed Forces, echoed Mixon's sentiments, and said he applauded all of the nation's participants and hopes this exercise brought them together and sharpened their peacekeeping skills.

Currently, Indonesia is Southeast Asia's largest supporter of troops for UN peacekeeping missions. Most recently, the TNI deployed troops to Lebanon in support of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16