Tag Archives: Tentara Nasional Indonesia

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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Filed under Defense, International Relation, Military

Indonesia: Signs of new thinking on Papua

By Gary Hogan — The 21 February slaying of eight soldiers in two separate incidents by anti-government rebels in Indonesia’s troubled Papua province sent shock waves through Jakarta’s presidential palace, as well as the country’s national defence headquarters in nearby Cilangkap.

Soldiers killed in Papua

Soldiers killed in Papua

It was the largest number of military security forces killed in a single day in the restive province, which borders Papua New Guinea.

The shock was felt as far away as Canberra, since Jakarta’s adroit handling of its separatist problem in Papua is crucial to our ability to progress bilateral relations with Indonesia.

Australia’s ambassador in Jakarta was the first foreign official to extend condolences and to reaffirm Australia’s unequivocal commitment to Indonesian sovereignty over Papua. Canberra knows it would be impossible to engage Jakarta in a comprehensive strategic partnership without a mature and unfettered relationship with Indonesia’s powerful defence forces, Tentara Nasional Indonesia or TNI.

Any undisciplined retaliatory conduct by TNI elements in Papua, such as random reprisals for the eight deaths, would weigh heavily on the current upward trajectory in both our defence and broader bilateral relations. Fortunately, there is cause for optimism that, at least at the top, TNI might adopt some fresh thinking about Papua and the international ramifications of an ongoing cycle of violence.

Nobody is more aware of the potential for an arbitrary, heavy-handed overreaction by security forces in Papua to tarnish Indonesia’s international image than President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. He has done a great deal in the past eight years as president to try to improve Indonesia’s global standing on human rights, investing in security sector reform and attempting to consolidate democracy and economic prosperity.

In Papua, Yudhoyono has promised a new approach based on building a stronger, fairer and more inclusive economy. His key man on the ground is retired general Bambang Darmono, a respected and experienced soldier and diplomat who played an important role in the successful Aceh peace process.

But Darmono, who the president has charged with overseeing a fast-track development plan for Papua, faces an uphill battle. Indonesia lacks a clear strategy for pacifying Papua, partly because Jakarta focuses on economics when many Papuans cry for political dialogue.

Moreover, the search for a solution is frustrated by poor coordination and an absence of imagination among government departments, factionalism and corruption in Papua itself, where vested interest is fueled by the prospect of limitless resource wealth, and a reactionary streak in some Jakarta elites, who refuse to even countenance the term ‘indigenous’ because it implies special rights.

Fallout from the 21 February shootings is still on the cards. The Free Papua Movement (OPM) is proving itself a learning organisation. Recent rebel actions demonstrate an ability to conduct reconnaissance, detect patterns, use intelligence effectively in planning and exploit poor operational security. The OPM now appears capable of moving beyond its basic hit and run tactics of the past. Incidents like the two which killed eight Indonesian soldiers last month could continue and even escalate.

In dealing with the Papua problem, Indonesia has occasionally demonstrated a disconnection between operational directions from Jakarta and tactical actions in the field. This will need to improve under TNI’s emerging leaders, and there are promising signs it might.

Gary Hogan was the first foreigner to graduate from Indonesia’s Institute of National Governance (Lemhannas) and was Australia’s Defence Attaché to Indonesia from 2009 to 2012.

Source: The Interpreter

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Filed under Papua, Security, Separatism