A more than 70-year long partnership between the United States and Indonesia was greatly strengthened over the course of ten short days of training during the 2020 Indonesia Platoon Exchange.
This platoon exchange is a unique concept that saw one platoon from 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division “Raiders” travel to Indonesia to train alongside and as part of the Indonesian 502nd Airborne Battalion. Likewise, a platoon from the Indonesian 431st Para Raider Infantry Battalion traveled to Hawaii to train alongside and as part of the Raiders.
Lt. Col. Walter Reed, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment Commander explained the value of this joint training exercise, even if it only lasted ten days.
“The light fighters of Apache Troop and the Soldiers of the mighty 431st Para Raider Battalion conducted training to improve both that tactical and technical interoperability of our two Armies, jungle training hosted by the Lightning Academy, and exchanged tactics and techniques during military operations in urban terrain,” he said.
Indonesian Maj. Kemas Nauval, 431st Para Raider Infantry Battalion Commander expressed his thanks to the Raiders for hosting his unit and stressed the lessons learned throughout the exchange, particularly in the area of leadership, capabilities and technology.
“This opportunity not only strengthened our bond and friendship but also enriched the skill, knowledge and experience of our Soldiers,” said Nauval. “We hope this joint training exercise will be the example of many more joint training exercises between our two Armies and I hope this is not the end of our exercise but is the start of a good relationship between Indonesian Army and U.S. Army.”
The closing ceremony in Hawaii included a gift exchange between the two Armies, a traditional Indonesian dance known as the Paraga dance, and saw Soldiers from both Armies standing shoulder to shoulder in a joint formation one final time before the 431st Soldiers travel back to Indonesia.
“The troopers of the Raider squadron and the Bronco Brigade are proud to call you our partners and friends in the Pacific,” said Reed during his closing remarks. “I am happy to report we have succeeded in this mission, both here and through our activities with the 502nd Airborne Battalion in Malang [Indonesia].”
Following the ceremony, the Soldiers of the 431st Para Raider Infantry Battalion conducted a "Yel-Yel" to celebrate the newfound friendships made with the Raiders of 3-4 Cav.. Following this, many pictures were taken and final farewell were bid as the Soldiers prepared to travel back home to Indonesia.