European Union and Indonesia Conduct First Joint Naval Exercise in the Arabian Sea
European Union and Indonesia Conduct First Joint Naval Exercise in the Arabian Sea

European Union and Indonesia Conduct First Joint Naval Exercise in the Arabian Sea

On 14-15 August 2022, the European Union (EU) and Indonesia conducted their first joint naval exercise in the Arabian Sea. The exercise involved Indonesian Navy corvette KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda and EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation Atalanta frigate ITS Virginio Fasan. The exercise was based on the scenario of an anti-piracy operation. It included cross-deck helicopter landings, complex tactical evolutions at sea, boarding of suspicious vessels and fuel replenishment at sea. The EU project on Critical Maritime Routes in the Indo-Pacific (CRIMARIO) provided its Indo-Pacific Regional Information Sharing (IORIS) platform for communication between participants in the exercise.

Indonesia’s KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda has just completed an assignment with the Maritime Task Force of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. Through its active contribution to peacekeeping missions, Indonesia makes a tangible contribution towards international peace and security in accordance with the United Nations Charter. Both Indonesia and the EU support a rules-based international order and effective multilateralism with the United Nations at its core. The EU and Indonesia are committed to a free, open, inclusive and rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region, underpinned by respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, democracy, rule of law, transparency, freedom of navigation and overflight, unimpeded lawful commerce, and peaceful resolution of disputes. They reaffirm the primacy of international law, including the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The exercise involved Indonesian Navy corvette KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda and Italian Navy frigate ITS Virginio Fasan. (Photo by European Union)

The EU and Indonesia conduct a regular Security Policy Dialogue to strengthen cooperation on security issues. In November 2021, the sixth meeting of the dialogue discussed maritime security alongside the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, countering narcotics, peacekeeping and crisis management, cyber security, non-proliferation and disaster management. The EU sees Indonesia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as major partners for the implementation of the EU’s Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. The EU and Indonesia intend to strengthen their operational cooperation at sea, including joint naval exercises and port calls. As a complement to their operational cooperation, notably through the EU projects on Enhancing Security Cooperation in and with Asia (ESIWA) and on Critical Maritime Routes in the Indo-Pacific (CRIMARIO).

EU Naval Force Somalia – Operation ATALANTA plays a vital role in the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy. It supports the Federal Government of Somalia in the combined effort for peace and stability in Somalia and the Horn of Africa and the development and improvement of Maritime security in the region. Since its launch in 2008 as first EU naval operation, EU NAVFOR Somalia holds a 100% success rate in protecting WFP vessels delivering humanitarian aid to internally displaced and refugees in Somalia and Supports the EU Integrated Approach for Somalia and the Horn of Africa together with its two EU sister missions, EUCAP Somalia and EU TM Somalia, the EU Delegation to Somalia and EU Special Representative to the Horn of Africa (Acts as a fundamental tool in the EU’s Naval Diplomacy for the Indo-Pacific).