Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Indonesia to hold Super Garuda Shield joint military exercise next month

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Gusty da Costa

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The Indonesian military (TNI) is preparing for the Super Garuda Shield joint military exercise that will be held from August 26 – September 5, 2024 in three locations − Situbondo in East Java, Karawang in West Java and Batu Raja in South Sumatra.

“This is still in our concept. The implementation is still on the plan. Participants will involve in parachuting, artillery shooting, and amphibious landing in the beach. Later we will tell you the vision for Garuda Shield exercise,” TNI spokesman Major General Nugraha Gumilar said on Wednesday, July 3, 2024.

Dozens of countries are expected to participate in the joint military exercise, including Indonesia as the host, the United States, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, India, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Despite the absence of China and Russia in the 2024 Super Garuda Shield, Nugraha Gumilar said the military exercise has no intention to consolidate military power against certain countries. Indonesia is a non aligned contry in terms of regional security.

Indonesia, he added, has defense cooperation with China in military education and officer’s student exchange.

“We have Chinese military officers joining the Indonesian military’s Staff and Command School and the Indonesian Army’s Staff and Command School,” he said.

South China Sea

Indonesia has adopted three approaches in response to the high tension between China and the Philippines on the South China Sea issue, namely protecting Indoneia’s sovereignty, protecting Indonesia’s territorial integrity and maintaining Indonesia’s security.

Nugraha Gumilar said that as long as the tension between China and the Philippines does not interfere with Indonesia’s sovereignty, Indonesia will not take side.

“We are protecting our country. But, we have established communications with both China and the Philippines,” he said.

“We cannot build confidence among Southeast Asian nations in maintaining regional security all alone. Countries in the region need to have common understanding,” he said.

As reported by Reuters, China and the Philippines have recently accused each other of the raising tensions in disputed shoals and reefs in the South China Sea, including an incident last month that seriously injured a Filipino navy sailor.

Philippine Navy spokesperson on South China Sea matters, Rear Admiral Roy Vincent Trinidad, told a briefing that the Chinese Coast Guard’s actions against Philippine vessels carrying out a routine resupply mission in the Second Thomas Shoal were the “most aggressive” in recent history.

China has disputed the Philippines’ account, saying the actions by its coast guard were lawful and beyond reproach. There was no immediate comment from the Chinese Embassy in Manila on Trinidad’s remarks.

Gusty da Costa

Journalist

 

Editor

 

Interview

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