Twenty-five soldiers from the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) Peacekeeping Centre proudly stood on parade at the Gary Holmes Centre at 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (5RAR), after completing comprehensive training on the Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle (PMV). Originally announced in 2021, the Parliament of Indonesia formally accepted the gift of 15 Bushmaster PMVs in April. Within a matter of weeks, Indonesian Armed Forces soldiers touched down in Darwin to begin a comprehensive training package on the patrol vehicles covering basic operation, challenging 4×4 operations, vehicle maintenance and communications equipment, provided by Thales Digital Systems. The Indonesian Armed Forces soldiers then covered off on maintenance and basic servicing of the Bushmaster.
In the driver portion, students started in the vehicle simulator where they covered basic PMV operation before moving onto the real thing and into the training area to tackle complicated terrain and water crossings. Interpreters provided translation, as Indonesian Armed Forces students were selected for their mechanical proficiency rather than their ability to speak English. This meant the training was able to tackle more in-depth and skilled maintenance issues. Indonesia were the seventh largest contributor to global peacekeeping operations in terms of personnel and equipment, with more than 2500 members deployed at any one time. Two of the PMVs used in the training were already sporting their internationally recognisable United Nations livery.
“The purpose was to give these soldiers the skills they need to safely operate and maintain the vehicles and associated communications equipment in austere environments. The Bushmaster is particularly well suited to missions where there is an increased risk of ambush, mines or improvised explosive devices, which are common to the mission areas where TNI conduct peacekeeping operations. We’re very proud to be able to support them in developing that peacekeeping capability. The more exposure we can give TNI and Australian soldiers to working with each other, the better we understand one another and work together,” Major Breckenridge said.
The Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle or Infantry Mobility Vehicle is an Australian-built four-wheel drive armoured vehicle. The name “Bushmaster” follows an informal practice of the primary user, the Australian Army in recent decades, of naming infantry vehicles after reptiles. The Bushmaster was primarily designed by the then government-owned Australian Defence Industries (ADI), and is currently produced by Thales Australia following their acquisition of ADI. The Bushmaster is currently in service with the Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Netherlands Army, British Army, Japan Ground Self Defense Force, Indonesian Army, Fiji Infantry Regiment, Jamaica Defence Force, New Zealand Army and the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle, known as the Sanca, is manufactured by Pindad in collaboration with Thales.