Largest joint military drill by US and Indonesia


Thousands of military personnel from Indonesia and the United States participated in the largest-ever joint drills between the two countries for two weeks. According to the Indonesian military, the exercises centred on island defence will take place from August 1 to 14 in three locations: Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi, according to the Indonesian military (August 4).
The manoeuvres, held annually since 2009 as part of the Garuda Shield exercises, comprise over 2,100 Indonesian military troops and 1,500 US army personnel. The soldiers arrived in late July in coronavirus-ravaged Indonesia and were immediately tested for Covid-19.
According to Indonesian army chief of staff Andika Perkasa, the drills are intended to boost bilateral relations and upgrade both troops’ skills.
Field training, live fire, aviation and medical drills are among them. As competition with China heats up, the US has been bolstering its footprint in the Asia-Pacific area and courting allies. Despite its strong security ties with the United States, Indonesia has demonstrated a readiness to maintain a balance in its relations with China, a vital economic partner.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin claimed Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea had “no basis in international law” during Singapore last week. Later this month, US Vice-President Kamala Harris will go to Singapore and Vietnam.


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