US, Indonesia To Hold Largest Military Drill in South Sumatra

Facing increasing hostility of Communist China the Indo-Pacific nations, like Indonesia are raising their armies readiness. Australia, and Japan will also participate in the drill.

During a one-day visit to Jakarta on Sunday, General Mark A. Milley, US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the planned exercises - slated for Aug 1 to 14 - will involve more than 4,000 troops from both the army and naval forces.

It is important that we just bond and train together, get to know each other as militaries. That's always a very valuable thing to do, said Gen Milley, in a joint press conference at Indonesia's military headquarters. The exercises will be conducted in Baturaja, South Sumatra province.

He added that the exercises will practise interoperability, tactics techniques and procedures.

Indonesian General Andika Perkasa said the upcoming Garuda Shield 2022 - the 16th edition of the war games - will involve seven Apache and four Blackhawk helicopters, 41 armoured vehicles and 618 weapons.

Japan, Australia and Singapore have been invited to join the exercise, while nine others will participate as observers, Gen Milley said. These include Malaysia, Canada, France and Britain.

The general said the US, as a Pacific power, very strongly believes in a free and open Pacific and it knows Indonesia also thinks the same way.

We will be here. We will offer support to Indonesia and contribute to the region in any way that we can. And we look forward to continuing our relationship in the future, Gen Milley emphasised on his way to the 24th annual Indo-Pacific Chiefs of Defence conference in Sydney, which takes place from July 25 to 27.

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