Dominggus Mampioper, Jayapura – September and October have been busy months for the Indonesian and Australian Army. Three joint exercises have been held in both countries. A senior officer in the Australian Army, Maj. Gen. Justin Frederick Ellwood, commonly known as Jake Ellwood, also paid a visit to Indonesia.
"We have resumed bilateral military training which marks an important milestone in our defense and security partnership," said Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Penny Williams in a written statement received by Jubi on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021.10.25
According to Williams, Indonesia was an important strategic partner. "The recent visits and joint training prove the importance of the relationship between Indonesia and Australia while we are seeking a way out of the COVID-19 pandemic," she said.
Williams revealed that on Sept. 9, Ministers of Defense and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries met up to discuss bilateral strategic and security interests. The meeting was soon followed by a visit by Maj. Gen. Jake Ellwood, the commander of the Australian Army's Division 1, to Jakarta.
In his visit, Ellwood met with senior officers of the Indonesian Army, as well as discussed with the Indonesian Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Andika Perkasa, the opportunities and initiatives to increase the level and complexity of joint training.
"It is a pleasure to be back in Indonesia as we begin to strengthen our Army's bilateral relationship with Indonesia," Ellwood said, as quoted in the press release.
On Sept. 24, Ellwood trained 165 members of the Indonesian and Australian Army in a two-week Junior Officer Combat Instructor Training (JOCIT) in Bandung, West Java.
"As our cooperation increases, the complexity of the operations we have to perform also increases. Activities like JOCIT are very important for both Australian and Indonesian Army," said Ellwood.
Meanwhile, on Sept. 27, Indonesia's Special Forces Units (Kopassus) and Australia's Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) joined a counterterrorism training called the Dawn Komodo, in Sewang, West Java. The training is designed for participants to exchange counterterrorism skills, knowledge, and experience. Dawn Komodo remains one of the longest joint exercises conducted by special forces of the two countries.
In October, Australia also hosted training in Darwin, dubbed the Wirra Jaya exercise, for 200 Indonesian Army personnel. This year's exercise, sponsored by the Australian Army, is the largest iteration of the exercise since it was initiated. Wirra Jaya is an annual three-week joint exercise between Australia and Indonesia to improve the infantry skills of soldiers of both countries and strengthen shared values and commitments to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific region.