Jakarta (ANTARA News) - US Ambassador Scot Marciel attended the opening of a US-Indonesia army exercise in Cilodong, Depok, West Java, on Monday, the US Embassy said on its official website on Tuesday.

Scot Marciel joined Maj. Gen. Gary Hara, Deputy Commander for the Army National Guard, US Army Pacific (USARPAC) and Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) Maj. Gen. Daniel Ambat, Kostrad (Army`s Strategic Command) Division 1 Commander, for the opening of the Garuda Shield exercise (GS) in Cilodong.

Garuda Shield is an annual Army-to-Army interoperability exercise is focused on building stronger relationships, sharing techniques, tactics and procedures, and building operational familiarity.

This year`s Garuda Shield is the 7th iteration of the exercise and represents the largest and most complex bilateral event ever conducted between the United States and Indonesian Armies.

The exercise consists of four parts including a combined tactical operations center and staff process, computer planning exercise, intensive field exercise portion, and a combined airborne operation with the U.S. Army`s 82nd Airborne Division.

This is the 7th iteration of the Garuda Shield exercise which is scheduled to conclude on June 21 at Kostrad Division 1 Headquarters.

The Garuda Shield exercise is the centerpiece of a series of exercises that are building greater cooperation under the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership.

United States forces also participated Gema Bhakti combined Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief staff exercise at the International Peace and Security Center in Sentul, Indonesia from June 6-10.

The Gema Bhakti exercise brought together forces from U.S. Army Pacific Command, U.S. Navy and Air Force to work side-by-side personnel from the TNI to create response planning to assist Indonesia in responding more efficiently to a natural disaster.

Experts in various disaster relief fields discussed issues, emergency responders and support services, face during an emergency and provided insights which allowed roughly 100 participants from both militaries to brain storm ideas to support national and strategic level decision making processes.

As a further compliment to the Garuda Shield and Gema Bhakti exercises, Indonesia and the United States also conducted a Disaster Response Exercise & Exchange entitled Pacific Resilience.

Pacific Resilience, held from June 3-6 at the Indonesia Peace & Security Center in Sentul brought together USARPAC, TNI, Indonesian disaster response agencies, and U.S. agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

During the course of the exercise, over 150 participants gathered to focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The exercise was designed to simulate the response to an earthquake and tsunami impacting the area of Padang in western Sumatra.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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