ASEM BAGUS, Indonesia (Sept. 2, 2014) -- Soldiers with the Tentara Nasional Indonesia Army and U.S. Army stood side-by-side at the parade square of Dodiklatpur here, in an opening ceremony to officially mark the beginning of the 8th annual Garuda Shield exercise, yesterday.

Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Hawaii Army National Guard, and the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, will train alongside soldiers of the Tentara Nasional Indonesia Army, or TNI-AD's, 2nd Kostrad Infantry Division, for a month-long exercise to foster cooperation and understanding.

"Bilateral exercises such as this one, broaden our knowledge and understanding of each other and build stronger bonds," said Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza, commander, U.S. Army I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

During Garuda Shield, Soldiers with both militaries will conduct a series of bilateral military partnership and training events on peace support operations, to include a computer-simulated command post exercise; a jungle field training exercise; combat vehicle and aviation training, and a combined arms live-fire exercise.

"Through this activity, both armies will be able to take great benefit for unit development in doctrine, organization, tactics and in military techniques," said TNI Maj. Gen. Bambang Hariyanto, commander, 2nd Kostrad Infantry Division.

Garuda Shield is a regularly scheduled bilateral exercise sponsored by U.S. Army Pacific, and hosted annually by the TNI to promote regional security and cooperation.