Category Archives: Defense

Australia and Indonesia combine forces to tackle illegal fishing

Patrol Boat Crew ARDENT Three's boarding team conducts a fisheries boarding on a vessel of interest in Northern Australian waters.

Patrol Boat Crew ARDENT Three’s boarding team conducts a fisheries boarding on a vessel of interest in Northern Australian waters.

Illegal fishing has been the focus of a combined Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Indonesian armed forces (TNI) operation, concluding in Kupang, West Timor this week.

The fourth annual Australian and Indonesian coordinated maritime security patrol (AUSINDO CORPAT) started in Darwin was conducted in waters between the two countries from 2-16 September.

The operation included aircraft, ships and headquarters staff from both countries in two synchronised task groups. The ADF contribution included Armidale Class Patrol Boat, HMAS Wollongong and an AP-3C Orion aircraft. The Indonesian armed forces provided naval vessels KRI Hiu and KRI Kakap and a CASA NC-212 aircraft.

The ships and aircraft patrolled along the Australian and Indonesian shared maritime boundaries in the vicinity of Ashmore Island, the Provisional Fisheries Surveillance Enforcement Line (PFSEL) and the Australian Indonesian Seabed Line (AISBL).

Air Commodore Ken Watson, Commander of the ADF task group, said the combined patrol provided an excellent opportunity to improve mutual understanding and cooperation between the two countries’ armed forces.

“We have built upon the success of previous coordinated patrols with a marked improvement in communication and interoperability,” Air Commodore Watson said.

“Throughout the patrol, both Australian and Indonesian vessels conducted a number of boardings to investigate suspected incursions by fishing vessels.

“The fact that there was a significant reduction in fishing activity within the CORPAT focal area demonstrates that deterrence of illegal activity by the task group was effectively achieved,” Air Commodore Watson said.

Personnel from both navies also had the opportunity to “cross deck” with Australian sailors spending time at sea with their Indonesian counterparts.



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Australia urged to help modernise Indonesia defence

Australia is being urged to support modernisation of Indonesia’s military so that its capability is shaped in a way that suits our interests.

In a new Australian Strategic Policy Institute study, ASPI analyst Benjamin Schreer says that could include improving Indonesian capability to safeguard its exclusive economic zone.

Maritime surveillance could be shared with Australia providing data from its Jindalee Operational Radar Network which can cover almost all of Indonesia.

The study says Indonesia could share data from its new maritime surveillance systems and Australia could share use of the Cocos Islands for maritime surveillance and patrol operations.

Dr Schreer said a democratic, militarily more-outward-looking Indonesia was in Australia’s strategic interest.

“The Australian government should seek to shape Indonesia’s defence capability in a way that suits out interests,” he said.

Dr Schreer said Indonesia had expressed ambitions for an expanded defence force in the past but the military, known as TNI, was far from reaching its plans.

In its 2010 Strategic Defence Plan, Indonesia unveiled plans for a navy of 274 ships and 12 submarines, a modernised air force including 10 fighter squadrons and a more agile army with tanks and attack helicopters – all by 2024.

Indonesian defence spending is increasing but remains modest – US$7.74 billion in 2012 or just 0.86 per cent of gross domestic product.

Plans to lift defence spending to 1.5 per cent of GDP by 2014 won’t be realised.

Dr Schreer said bold declarations were made about procurement plans regardless of available funding, while equipment was acquired without the ability to keep it in service.

“Consequently for the forseeable future TNI will remain an imbalanced, mostly non-deployable force,” he said.

Dr Schreer said Indonesia’s air force plans were of particular interest, given Australia’s strategic goal of maintaining RAAF superiority over regional air forces.

Over the next 20 years, Indonesia will incrementally improve capacity to patrol its airspace and provide transport within the archipelago.

“Yet, it’s highly unlikely that the TNI-AU (air force) will pose any significant operational challenge for a state-of-the-art air force such as the RAAF any time soon,” he said.


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US Ambassador joins opening of US – Indonesia military exercise

Ambassador Marciel Joins Opening of U.S.-Indonesia Military Exercise The US Ambassador Scot Marciel joined Maj. Gen. Gary Hara, Deputy Commander for the Army National Guard, U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) and Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) Maj. Gen. Daniel Ambat, Kostrad Division 1 Commander, for the opening of the Garuda Shield exercise (GS) in Cilodong, Indonesia on June 10.

Garuda Shield is an annual Army-to-Army interoperability exercise. It is focused on building stronger relationships, sharing techniques, tactics and procedures, and building operational familiarity.

The exercise consists of four parts including a combined tactical operations center and staff process, computer planning exercise, intensive field exercise portion, and a combined airborne operation with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. This is the 7th iteration of the Garuda Shield exercise which is scheduled to conclude on June 21 at Kostrad Division 1 Headquarters.

The Garuda Shield exercise is the centerpiece of a series of exercises that are building greater cooperation under the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership. This year’s Garuda Shield is the 7th iteration of the exercise and represents the largest and most complex bilateral event ever conducted between the United States and Indonesian Armies.

United States forces also participated Gema Bhakti combined Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief staff exercise at the International Peace and Security Center in Sentul, Indonesia from June 6-10. The Gema Bhakti exercise brought together forces from U.S. Army Pacific Command, U.S. Navy and Air Force to work side-by-side personnel from the TNI to create response planning to assist Indonesia in responding more efficiently to a natural disaster.

Experts in various disaster relief fields discussed issues, emergency responders and support services, face during an emergency and provided insights which allowed roughly 100 participants from both militaries to brain storm ideas to support national and strategic level decision making processes.

As a further compliment to the Garuda Shield and Gema Bhakti exercises, Indonesia and the United States also conducted a Disaster Response Exercise & Exchange entitled Pacific Resilience. Pacific Resilience, held from June 3-6 at the Indonesia Peace & Security Center in Sentul brought together USARPAC, TNI, Indonesian disaster response agencies, and U.S. agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). During the course of the exercise, over 150 participants gathered to focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The exercise was designed to simulate the response to an earthquake and tsunami impacting the area of Padang in western Sumatra.

Source: The US Embassy in Jakarta – Indonesia

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PNG`s defense minister pays courtesy call on Indonesian counterpart

Papua New Guinea`s Defense Minister Febian Pok paid a courtesy call on his Indonesian counterpart, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, here on Tuesday (18/07).

The two ministers discussed efforts to intensify defense cooperation between Indonesia and PNG, Minister Yusgiantoro said.

“The defense cooperation, which has been implemented so far, includes joint border patrol, military official exchange visits, and training as well as exercises,” the minister said.

The two countries explored possibility to establish cooperation in the defense industry, he added.

Indonesia and PNG signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) in Port Moresby, PNG, on March 12, 2010 during a state visit by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Minister Febian Pok is a member of the entourage of PNG`s Prime Minister Peter Charles Paire O`Neill who is on a visit to Indonesia.

Prime Minister O`Neill and President Yudhoyono held a bilateral meeting in Jakarta on Monday (June 17).

President Yudhoyono considered the state visit of the PNG prime minister this time very significant for developing and increasing the cooperation between the two countries following the meetings before in Honolulu and in the Bali Democracy Forum last year.

“This visit is very important not only for the two countries` bilateral relations but also for increasing and strengthening our relations and partnership. We have agreed to work more and seek more opportunities and comprehensive partnership,” he said.

Prime Minister O`Neill meanwhile said he was glad over the warn welcome that had been given to him and his delegation.

He said as close neighbors PNG and Indonesia could continue to develop their cooperation wider.

Source: ANTARA News

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Indonesia to buy combat helicopters from the United States

Indonesia wants to buy a number of combat helicopters from the United States for the army , Defenses Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said .

“The choice is Apache combat helicopters to strengthen the army weapons system,” Purnomo said here on Friday (15/02).

He said the US government has approved the proposal to buy Apache helicopters but the defense ministry wants a larger number.

“If we could not buy enough units of Apache, then we want Black Hawk. We want more combat helicopters to build up our strength,” he said.

He did not say how many units of helicopters the ministry plans to buy.

“We are still calculating based on the budget set aside by the finance ministry and the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas),” he said giving no figure for budget.

He said the final deal on the helicopters is expected to be signed this year.

Earlier army chief of staff Gen. Pramono Edhie Wibowo said the additional units are to form a new squadron of helicopters for territorial security.

Parmono also has been quoted as saying the army would have Rp14 trillion (US$1.56 billion) to buy military hardware this year.

“That is the amount approved by the House of Representatives for the army to buy new weapons,” he said.

He said negotiations are in progress for the purchase of 20 units of Black Hawk helicopter.

He acknowledged that the army needs replacement of old weapons simultaneously and by phases.

Talks on the fund disbursement has been in the final phase between the defense ministry and the finance ministry, he said.

The types of equipment to be acquired will depend on the requirement also including Leopard tanks, cannons and rockets with a firing range of up to 100 kilometers.

The equipment would be distributed by phases to various regions which need modernization of weapons system, he said.

Former head of the defense Facility board Maj. Gen. Ediwan Prabowo said the government allocates US$400 million to buy combat helicopters.

“The fund would be enough to buy 8 units of Apache helicopters as the price per unit is around US$45 million or 20 units of Black Hawk,” Ediwan said.

Apache is superior in that it could destroy tanks, armored vehicles and bunkers, he said.

Black Hawk has less capability in destroying targets but it could carry troops, he added.

Source: ANTARA News

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UK, Indonesia to strengthen defense ties

The UK and Indonesia agreed on Wednesday (16/01) to strengthen defense cooperation in various fields from training and education to weapons procurement and civil-military cooperation (CIMIC).

The UK Defense Secretary Philip Hammond and Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro

The UK Defense Secretary Philip Hammond and Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro

The various fields of cooperation were agreed upon during a bilateral meeting between the UK Defense Secretary Philip Hammond and his Indonesian counterpart Purnomo Yusgiantoro.

Purnomo said the meeting was a follow up to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed during President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s visit to London in 2012.

“Earlier in 2006, we signed up to a partnership forum during [former] prime minister Tony Blair’s visit to Jakarta. The forum included enhancing defense cooperation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Hammond said that Wednesday’s meeting was “about building on that MoU and turning it into reality or practical cooperation”.

“For us, defense collaboration with Indonesia is a very logical, strategic step,” he added.

According to Purnomo, the cooperation will include training and human resources development, such as cooperation between the Indonesian Defense University (IDU) and Cranfield University as well as between the National Resilience Institute (Lemhanas) and its British counterpart.

“In procurement, we have a number of British-made weapon systems and we need their support, including shared experiences in procurement and life cycle systems, as well as weapons maintenance,” he said.

Both countries also agreed to share experiences in armed forces management, especially regarding reserve force and welfare systems.

“The UK has a reserve model while we don’t. The British delegation shared its experiences, such as in Afghanistan, that in addition to deploying regular soldiers, they also deploy a reserve force,” Purnomo said.

Hammond said the UK was a trading country and that most trading was done via sea routes, making it imperative to secure these trading routes.

Another field of cooperation is in maritime security, as both countries are greatly concerned with securing major trading routes and sea lines of communication (SLOC).

“We also shared experiences on CIMIC, such as in disaster relief,” Purnomo said.

When asked about the procurement of British-made weapon systems, Purnomo referred the question to the Defense Facilities Agency head Maj. Gen. Ediwan Prabowo.

Ediwan said that the ministry had signed contracts to procure Starstreak short range air defense missile as well as spare parts for Hawk 109/209 trainer and ground attack aircraft and for Scorpion light tanks.

Indonesian military attache in London, Col. Jonni Mahroza, told The Jakarta Post that the Starstreak contract covered one missile battery that consisted of nine launchers. Ideally, an air defense battalion has three missile batteries.

After the meeting, Hammond delivered a general lecture for IDU students followed by a question and answer session.

Answering a question, Hammond said that British defense industries were ready to cooperate with Indonesian firms on initiatives such as the Indonesian-Korea KFX jet fighter program.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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The US seeks expanded military ties with Indonesia

A senior U.S. official says Washington should expand its military ties with Indonesia, befitting a relationship between two robust democracies.

Top diplomat for East Asia, Kurt Campbell, said those ties have grown in recent years, but not fast enough.

Campbell was speaking Tuesday (27/11) at a gathering of the U.S.-Indonesia Society in Washington.

The U.S. severed military ties for several years after of Indonesia’s bloody crackdown in East Timor in 1999. Jakarta has since sought to professionalize and modernize its military. Key U.S. restrictions on engagement with Indonesia’s feared special forces were lifted in 2010.

Human rights groups say Indonesia’s military abuse continues, particularly in the restive province of west Papua.

Campbell also advocated deeper ties between the two governments and praised Jakarta’s leadership in regional diplomacy.

Source: The Associated Press

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