A joint military exercise between Australia and Indonesia has been conducted virtually for the first time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
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Australian Army personnel from the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, have conducted Exercise Wirra Jaya virtually for the first time, operating out of Robertson Barracks in the Northern Territory.
Members of the Tiger Battalion were joined by participants from the Indonesian Army, Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat, from a base in Palur, Central Java in Indonesia.
The exercise was led by Officer Commanding Delta Company Major David Evangelidis, and was supported by his second in charge and four lieutenants from the unit.
“This exercise proved that there are no barriers to maintaining this important habitual relationship with Indonesia,” MAJ Evangelidis said.
“Sometimes you have to think outside the box and use the technology available to continue to develop these important relationships, despite the restrictions induced by the coronavirus.”
The units were supported by linguists from both the ADF and Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat during the four-day exercise, allowing teams to discuss mechanised infantry operations, combat support considerations and combined arms attack methods, in a bid to develop interoperability.
Reflecting on the exercise, Lieutenant Tom Roache commented, “I was really impressed by the Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat’s professionalism, enthusiasm and the excellent presentation they produced as part of the course.”
Indonesian officer Major Risky Aditya, of the 411th Raider Infantry Battalion, said the exercise presented participants with an invaluable learning opportunity.
“We look forward to the opportunity to travel to Australia in 2021 to continue our Exercise Wirra Jaya relationship,” MAJ Aditya said.