U.S. Army Task Force Warrior and the Indonesian Army went all-out during a combined live fire exercise at the Baturaja Training Area, South Sumatra, Indonesia to cap off Garuda Shield 2021. The live fire range included M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), Artillery Saturation Rocket System (ASTROS II) MK6, AH-64 Apache helicopter live fires, field artillery, mortars, explosive engineer breaches, and infantry maneuvers. The live fire was the first time the U.S. Army had operated the weapon known as HIMARS in Indonesia.
The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is a light multiple rocket launcher developed for the United States Army, mounted on a standard Army M1140 truck frame. The HIMARS carries six rockets or one MGM-140 ATACMS missile on the U.S. Army’s new Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) five-ton truck, and can launch the entire Multiple Launch Rocket System Family of Munitions (MFOM). HIMARS ammunition is interchangeable with the MLRS M270A1, however it is only able to carry one pod rather than the standard two for the M270 and A1 variants. The launcher is C-130 transportable.
ASTROS II (Artillery Saturation Rocket System) is a self-propelled multiple rocket launcher produced in Brazil by the Avibras company. It features modular design and employs rockets with calibers ranging from 127 mm to 450 mm ( 5-17.72 inches). It was developed on the basis of a Tectran VBT-2028 6×6 all-terrain vehicle for enhanced mobility based on Mercedes-Benz 2028 truck chassis. Indonesian Army opeates 63 Astros Il MK6 (1st batch of 36 ordered in 2012 & 2nd batch of 27 delivered in 2020).
Garuda Shield 21 is a two-week joint exercise between the United States Army and the Indonesian Armed Forces that reinforces U.S. Army commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, improves interoperability and enhances the jungle warfare ability of both armies in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Garuda Shield provides realistic training and educational opportunities through the command post, field training, live fire, aviation and medical exercises. Through the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Complex, Garuda Shield builds expeditionary readiness at multiple echelons through real-world execution of the U.S. Army’s Operating Concept.