Indonesia and the United States are prepared to hold their largest military exercises next month, dismissing worries about a split in their relationship over China’s increasing investments in the Southeast Asian country.
The increasing hostility between China and the US compelled the Indo-Pacific nations in the Indian and Pacific Oceans to sail through, as both superpowers advanced diplomatic lead in the geopolitically important region. Indonesia has been neutral amid the rivalry, throwing light on its long-term foreign policy ideology of being “independent and active.”
The US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley, who paid a one-day visit to Jakarta on Sunday (July 24) said the planned exercises to be held from Aug 1 to 14, in Baturaja, South Sumatra province will involve over 4000 troops from the army and naval forces.
“It’s 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 press conference at Indonesia’s military headquarters. He added that there will be a rehearsal of interoperability, tactics, techniques, and procedures.
Indonesian General Andika Perkasa stated the forthcoming Garuda Shield 2022 – the 16th edition of the war games – will take in seven Apache and four Blackhawk helicopters, 41 armored vehicles, and 618 weapons.