Months of planning and coordination between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) set the small Indonesian island of Singkep alight in the capstone exercise activity of Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE22).
CAPTION: Australian Army and TNI Marines conduct an amphibious beach demonstration in Indonesia. Story by Flight Lieutenant Brent Moloney. All photos by Nadav Harel.
Landing craft launched from KRI Banjarmasin and MRH90 Taipans from HMAS Adelaide carried integrated Australian and Indonesian forces to raid multiple sites on the remote island.
As a combined fighting force, the amphibious demonstration highlighted a new level of integration and understanding between the two partner nations.
Major Rick Hindmarsh, Officer Commanding of the joint pre-landing force in Dabo, Singkep, said Australia and Indonesia’s commitment to cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region was clearly on show during the exercise.
“Over the past few days the ADF and the TNI have trained and lived on each other’s ships and have now successfully conducted a joint activity on a remote island in Indonesia – these are key milestones in our relationship,” Major Hindmarsh said.
“This level of commitment, as shown during IPE22, is an exciting shift in the way our two militaries work together and bodes well for future engagements in the region.”
Amphibious operations at the port of Dabo were ushered in by Lieutenant John Limbert, the amphibious beach team commander, after he surveyed the landing area and waded through the approach site.
CAPTION: Australian Army soldiers conduct an amphibious beach demonstration in Indonesia.
“My team’s role is to deploy to the beach ahead of the main effort and establish the beach landing site for our landing craft,” Lieutenant Limbert said.
“Once that area is deemed safe, we can get the ground combat element ashore to begin tackling their objectives.”
CAPTION: Australian Army and TNI Marines respond to an air assault during a beach demonstration in Indonesia.
The importance of the activity was not lost on Lieutenant Limbert or his team, who were keen to perform well and pave the way for future joint exercises with Indonesia.
“This is the first time that we have conducted an amphibious exercise with the Indonesians, so we’re all excited to be sharing our skills and learning from each other,” Lieutenant Limbert said.
“In just getting from the ships to the shore, we’re already observing each other’s methods and developing what I hope are lasting relationships with our partners on their home turf, and that’s really exciting.”
CAPTION: ADF and Indonesian National Armed Forces at Dabo, Singkep, a remote island in Indonesia.