It has been a long journey for the 1st Armoured Regiment’s contribution of M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks and support vehicles to Exercise Super Garuda Shield in Indonesia. Starting at their home at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia, more than a dozen vehicles were transported across the continent by road on heavy trucks to Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory. The vehicles were loaded onto US Army Vessel (USAV) SSGT Robert T. Kuroda and shipped to the Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, Indonesia, for transport by road to the training area in East Java. More than 125 Australian Army personnel, drawn primarily from the 9th Brigade’s 1st Armoured Regiment, 10th/27th Royal South Australian Regiment, 3rd Health Battalion, as well as other support elements, have deployed on the annual exercise. The movement of the tanks and vehicles from Darwin to Surabaya was an exercise in partnership. Australian troops have joined more than 4000 personnel from 24 participant and observer nations in joint operations on the Indonesian Armed Forces and US Indo-Pacific Command-led exercise.
“These activities strengthen the bond and relationship with our countries, as well as provide experience for what it is like and what type of interoperability there is between US and Australian forces. We’ve had a great time working with the ADF personnel, who are very professional,” the skipper of the USAV SSGT Robert T. Kuroda, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Kyle Nicholas said.
“Our participation in Super Garuda Shield 2023 provides an important opportunity for Australia to work with our Indonesian and US partners to support an open, inclusive and stable Indo-Pacific region. It will also demonstrate our ability to meet the most demanding land challenges in the future and to effectively deploy significant land forces, including armour, across the Indo-Pacific region. Importantly, it also provides the opportunity to conduct joint interoperable operations and train with partners and allies in the region.”,” The ADF’s contingent commander, and Commanding Officer of the 1st Armoured Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Henderson said.
Super Garuda Shield is the largest military exchange each year between the United States and Indonesia, with this year’s iteration expanding upon the number of participating nations. Approximately 2,100 U.S. and 1,900 Indonesian TNI service members from across multiple military branches will enhance interoperability capabilities through training and cultural exchanges. This exercise continues to solidify the U.S.-Indonesia Major Defense Partnership and advances cooperation in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. With professional training and combat exercises taking place in Surabaya and Banyuwangi, Super Garuda Shield 2023 strengthens the U.S.-Indonesian defense partnership through cooperative learning and enhanced trust among the two militaries. Training includes expert academic exchanges and professional development workshops, a command and control simulation, an amphibious exercise, airborne operations, an airfield seizure exercise, and a combined joint field training that culminates with a live fire event.