The joint exercise involved 7,675 soldiers from TNI's three elements, namely the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Apart from that, various main weapons systems belonging to the TNI were also deployed.
The highlight of the joint exercise was the landing of Marine troops and amphibious tanks from warships on Banongan Beach, Situbondo, on August 1 morning that was witnessed by TNI Commander Admiral Yudo Margono along with several high-ranking TNI officers and Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security, Mahfud MD.
From the review and evaluation, it was concluded that the joint exercise was considered a success. Minister Mahfud was also confident that the strength of the Indonesian army could be relied upon to guard the sovereignty of the Indonesian Republic from interference by other countries.
The exercise was indubitably held to address future threats in the form of conventional war and modern war.
Defense analysts believe that future wars will no longer take place conventionally, as they did in the past. The war in the future no longer requires the presence of tanks, heavy weapons, warships, or the roar of jet fighters in the air.
However, predictions from experts, who have studied military and defense sciences, might be wrong.
The analysis saying that future wars will no longer feature weapons is not entirely accurate. Russia's war with Ukraine, which has been going on for the past year, shows that conventional wars have not been completely abandoned by countries that are or still want to fight.
Hence, the presence of TNI along with weapons and equipment to support combat forces is still needed to protect Indonesia from possible interference from other countries.
Moreover, the joint exercise has at least two effects, internal and external. Internally, the exercise has an impact to increase combat instincts and soldiers’ skills in using their own strengths as troops and skills in using the main weaponry system. In general, this joint exercise is a form of testing the institutional development and coaching on the capabilities of its soldiers.
Related to the internal impact, this exercise demonstrates to the people that Indonesia has adequate troops and defense equipment to protect the people from possible attacks. Meanwhile, in an institutional context, the exercise demonstrates the accountability of the TNI to the people.
With regard to the external impact, this joint exercise has a deterrent effect or show of strength to other countries that may have the intention to attack Indonesia.
In the military world, Indonesian soldiers are respected with recognizable strength, both the combat equipment and personnel strength.
TNI also has several special forces, namely the Indonesian Army Special Forces Command (Kopassus), Marines, Frog Troops Command (Kopaska), including the Jalamangkara Detachment (Denjaka) in the Indonesian Navy and the Indonesian Air Force's Fast Action Troop Command (Kopsgat) as Indonesia's mainstay troops, who are known worldwide for being tough and respected soldiers.
Other countries’ special forces also often conduct joint exercises with the TNI special forces that reflects the quality of Indonesia’s troops.
Those foreign special troops came to train with the TNI troops, share their knowledge and experience, and also gain knowledge from Indonesian troops.
They come to train with the TNI troops, in addition to sharing knowledge and experience, in fact also to gain knowledge from Indonesia's troops.
From the joint exercises with other countries, they are often amazed by the physical endurance of the TNI special forces, especially in the efforts to survive in the forest.
TNI troops are accustomed to living in the forest by surviving on the plants and animals around them. Hence, foreign special forces were amazed by the TNI troops' ability to survive on snake meat in the forest.
They were also surprised by the Indonesian troops’ ability to meet their need for water in the forest. The TNI troops usually drink water provided by nature, including drinking water from plants in the forest.
Indonesian troops, apart from having survival skills, also have a genetic heritage from their ancestors as brave and tough warriors, who are known to never give up under tough circumstances.
With all their individual and collective fortitude, the TNI troops do not ignore the trend of modern warfare in the future.
This is apparent from the government’s efforts to modernize its weapons system apart from the conventional ones.
One of the efforts is through the procurement of an unmanned armed vehicle (UAV) made in Turkey called ANKA to be part of Indonesia’s defense system. Modern wars by spreading viruses or diseases to other countries had also become a cause for concern for all countries, including Indonesia, with attacks on cultural bases.
The spread of religious radicalism can also be interpreted as an unconventional war that has, so far, become a major concern of the Indonesian government along with other elements of the nation. Radical ideas are also spread to undermine state sovereignty by using domestic power.
In a war against radicalism, the government has had experiences, including the formation of the Special Detachment (Densus) 88 from the National Police as an anti-terror force.
Apart from arresting the perpetrators, who generally still rely on traditional fighting patterns with weapons, the government has also continued to take precautionary efforts, especially among members of the younger generation that are the targets of those radical views.
If we reflect on our experiences of war against colonialism in the past, the nation has a concept of universal war that involves civil society, both in terms of logistical and strategic support, as well as the people's direct involvement on the battlefield.
Hence, TNI’s joint exercise did not only bolster the soldiers’ combat capabilities but also strengthens the hearts of the people to work comfortably and feel safe. If the TNI and the people are strong enough, then the country will be safe and secure.
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