Months of planning and coordination between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Indonesian National Armed Forces set the small Indonesian island of Singkep alight in the capstone exercise activity of Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE22). Landing craft launched from Makassar-class landing platform dock (LPD) KRI Banjarmasin and MRH90 Taipans from Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) HMAS Adelaide carried integrated Australian and Indonesian forces to raid multiple sites on the remote island. As a combined fighting force, the amphibious demonstration highlighted a new level of integration and understanding between the two partner nations.
Major Rick Hindmarsh, Officer Commanding of the joint pre-landing force in Dabo, Singkep, said,“Australia and Indonesia’s commitment to cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region was clearly on show during the exercise. Over the past few days the ADF and the TNI have trained and lived on each other’s ships and have now successfully conducted a joint activity on a remote island in Indonesia – these are key milestones in our relationship. This level of commitment, as shown during IPE22, is an exciting shift in the way our two militaries work together and bodes well for future engagements in the region.”
Amphibious operations at the port of Dabo were ushered in by Lieutenant John Limbert, the amphibious beach team commander, after he surveyed the landing area and waded through the approach site. Lieutenant Limbert said,“My team’s role is to deploy to the beach ahead of the main effort and establish the beach landing site for our landing craft. Once that area is deemed safe, we can get the ground combat element ashore to begin tackling their objectives. This is the first time that we have conducted an amphibious exercise with the Indonesians, so we’re all excited to be sharing our skills and learning from each other.”
The Australian Army leadership on Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2022 (IPE22) has been focused on ensuring soldiers maintain a high standard of readiness to respond to the needs of the region. Whether on land or at sea, the Australian Amphibious Force (AAF) personnel aboard HMAS Adelaide have been ready for anything. Deploying on an amphibious ship for this length of time brings unique opportunities to enhance Australian Defence Force readiness in ways that aren’t always available in the land environment. More than 500 Australian Amphibious Force personnel have been embarked in Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) HMAS Adelaide as part of IPE 2022.