Bushmasters debut in Indonesian exercise

Soldiers from Darwin’s 1st Brigade have travelled to Indonesia to participate in Exercise Wirra Jaya 2019, a bilateral training exercise held annually with the Indonesian Army.

CAPTION: An Australian Army Bushmaster conducts tactical mounted manoeuvres with an M113/AS1 from the Tentara Nasional Indonesia Army (TNI-AD) at Dodiklatpur training base, East Java. Photo by Corporal Shane Kelly.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the two-week training exercise aimed to foster cooperation and enhance interoperability between Australian and Indonesian forces.

“Since Exercise Wirra Jaya debuted in 2013, it has grown into a sophisticated Defence partnership, strengthening each year based on our shared interest in enhancing peace and security in our region,” Minister Reynolds said.

“The exercise has grown from a single rifle platoon to both nations now contributing engineers, artillery and military vehicles for training.”

The 2019 iteration of Exercise Wirra Jaya will take place at Dodiklatpur in Asum Bagus, East Java – Indonesia’s premier live-fire field training facility, which regularly hosts international exercises.

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Australia’s Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr said 2019 would be the first time Australian Army Bushmasters were deployed with soldiers as part of the exercise.

“Our soldiers, from the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, introduced the Bushmaster to their Indonesian counterparts in the Northern Territory last year and they will now continue that training on unfamiliar ground,” Lieutenant General Burr said.

“The Tentara Nasional Indonesia Army (TNI-AD) strategic reserve force, the 2nd Division Kostrad, will this year have the opportunity to show the Australian infantrymen their own armoured fighting vehicle capability.

“Familiarising ourselves with each other’s doctrine, equipment, tactics and techniques broadens our knowledge and understanding of each other, which in turn naturally builds trust and relationships that endure,” Lieutenant General Burr said.

Each year, Australia and Indonesia share hosting duty for Exercise Wirra Jaya.

In 2018 the Australian Army’s 1st Brigade welcomed around 90 TNI-AD soldiers to Robertson Barracks.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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