The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is set to participate in Exercise Super Garuda Shield 2023, a joint-training initiative led by the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the United States Indo-Pacific Command. With over 125 ADF personnel joining this bilateral training activity, the exercise aims to bolster cooperation and readiness among partner nations operating in the Indo-Pacific region. Taking place in East Java from August 31 to September 13, Exercise Super Garuda Shield is not only a testament to the strong defense ties between Australia, Indonesia, and the United States but also a display of the ADF’s commitment to honing its operational proficiency in various combat scenarios. Exercise Super Garuda Shield holds paramount importance in refining the ADF’s ability to collaborate effectively with partner nations across the Indo-Pacific region.
The involvement of the Australian Army in this exercise is marked by the deployment of a troop of M1A1 Abrams tanks from the 1st Armoured Regiment, along with an infantry platoon from the 10th/27th Battalion, Royal South Australian Regiment. The ADF’s contribution also includes crucial command and control elements, as well as an array of armoured vehicles, trucks, and recovery vehicles. Notably, this marks the first instance of heavy armoured vehicles leaving Australian shores since the Vietnam War, underscoring the significance of this bilateral training endeavor. The seamless coordination of this deployment was evidenced by the transportation of the M1A1 Abrams tanks from their base in Adelaide to Darwin Port. From there, these armored assets were expertly loaded onto US Army watercraft, en route to Surabaya, Indonesia, where the exercise is set to take place. This logistical achievement highlights the prowess of the ADF in handling complex and large-scale maneuvers.
Originating as a bilateral training event between the Indonesian Army and the U.S. Army in 2007, the Garuda Shield exercise has evolved into a multinational endeavor of considerable scale. This year’s “Super Garuda Shield” edition is a testament to its growth, ranking among the most significant joint-training exercises in the Indo-Pacific region. By fostering planning, operations, exchanges, and activities among participating nations, the exercise serves to enhance the military defense capabilities of all involved. Throughout the duration of Exercise Super Garuda Shield, a diverse range of training events is scheduled. These encompass amphibious exercises, maritime security training, military operations in urban terrain, air defense exercises, airborne operations, and airfield seizure exercises. Command post exercises will facilitate the practice of operational planning, command, and communication within a simulated environment, reflecting the multifaceted nature of modern defense operations.