Indonesia is one of the largest archipelagic countries in the world and does need a strong military capability to maintain the sovereignty of the nation and state. In addition to requiring the main weaponry system as a defense requirement to maintain sovereignty, Indonesia also conducts joint military exercises with other countries to improve military capabilities both in terms of tactics, use of weapons and personnel capabilities. To achieve this, the Indonesian National Army –TNI AD is conducting joint military exercises with the United States in South Sumatra. This joint exercise, entitled 'Garuda Shield 15/2021', is the largest exercise ever carried out by the two countries and involves 2,161 Indonesian Army soldiers and 1,547 US Army personnel. This exercise takes place from August 1-14, 2021.
Quoted from Kompas (4/8), Army Chief of Staff General Andika Perkasa accompanied by Commanding General of The United States Army Pacific, General Charles A Flynn when opening a joint exercise with the Indonesian Army and the United States Army in The Indonesian Army Combat Training Center, Martapura-Baturaja, Ogan Komering Ulu Timur, South Sumatra, Wednesday (4/8) said that the 15th Garuda Shield in 2021 is the largest exercise in the history of military cooperation between Indonesia and the US.
Meanwhile, based on information from the United States Embassy, this military exercise aims to strengthen the US-Indonesia Main Defense Partnership and encourage cooperation in supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific region. In addition, the United States also believes that Garuda Shield 2021 can provide excellent opportunities for professional and cultural exchanges that strengthen the partnership between the two countries through joint learning and training.
In fact, the first joint Garuda Shield exercise held in Bandung, West Java in 2009 is aimed at strengthening bilateral relations and can also be said to be a real form of defense diplomacy to strengthen military relations of both countries. In addition to the United States, Indonesia also builds joint military exercises with various neighboring countries, such as MALINDO and Malaysia which sometimes includes other countries such as Singapore, Australia and several other ASEAN countries. The purpose of this military exercise is to build strategic cooperation and partnerships with various countries. In addition, the increasing tension in the South China Sea could be a joint military exercise with major countries that will enhance alertness and improve the capability of Indonesian military personnel in dealing with all possibilities that may occur in terms of security and the effects of threats from outside Indonesia's territory. In addition to conducting joint military exercises in Baturaja, South Sumatra, the Indonesian Army and the United States Army also conduct exercises in two other locations: Amborawang, Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan and Makalisung, Minahasa, North Sulawesi.