For more than 70-years the partnership between the United States and Indonesian Armies has endured, despite the two nations being geographically located on opposite sides of the earth.
On Nov. 14, 2020, this partnership became a lot closer inside the historic F-Quad on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii as a platoon from the Tentara National Indonesian Army’s 431st Para Raider Infantry Battalion stood together as one with Soldiers assigned to 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment “Raiders,” 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division marking the official start to the U.S. hosted portion of the 2020 Indonesia platoon exchange.
During his opening remarks, Lt. Col. Walter Reed, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment Commander stressed the importance of strengthening the partnership through shared tactical knowledge and the lifetime friendships that will be formed.
“I encourage all Soldiers, both in the 431st Para Raider Battalion and the Raider Squadron of 3-4 Cav., to spend time over the next two weeks getting to know one another, reinforcing the shared bonds that unite us in service to our nations,” said Reed.
The U.S. hosted portion is only half of the overall concept as the Raiders also have a platoon who traveled to Indonesia in order to train alongside the Indonesian 502nd Airborne Battalion for two weeks.
“The simultaneous training occurring here and in Indonesia, will enable our light fighters at the troop and squadron level to build readiness on critical individual and collective tasks,” said Reed. “More importantly, it will also deepen our strategic partnership with Indonesia to further the relationship built on shared democratic values and common interest.”
For the next two weeks in Hawaii, the Raiders will train together with the 431st Para Raiders conducting everything from morning physical readiness training to counter-improvised explosive device training as well as a series of training conducted at the 25th Infantry Division’s Lightning Academy.
Indonesian Army Maj. Kemas Nauval, 431st Para Raider Infantry Battalion Commander is excited to be part of this opportunity to enrich the skills and experience of both armies Soldiers. “As we all know, this joint training exercise is intended to strengthen bonds and friendships between our two armies and also between our two nations so that we will continue to have a good communication, coordination and understanding afterwards,” he said during his remarks.
While this platoon exchange provides high-quality training for both armies, the relationships built will go far beyond the two-weeks of training.
“This exchange is an example of how America's Pacific Division continues to build readiness and learn from our partners in the region” said Maj. Gen. James Jarrard, Commanding General of the 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawaii. “We hope to deepen our partnership with Indonesia to further the relationship we have based on shared values and common interests, and we welcome our partners to Schofield Barracks.”
Looking toward the future, this event will hopefully be seen as the start of an even stronger partnership between the two armies which will last beyond another 70-years.