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Indonesian, US marine forces holding joint exercise in Lampung

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Marine forces from the US military and the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) are holding the inaugural Keris Marine Exercise (MAREX) in Lampung.

The joint exercise is being held from November 11–25, 2022, at the Piabung training area in Pesawaran Regency, Lampung, the US Embassy in Jakarta informed in a statement released on Monday.

The inaugural bilateral exercise, led by the US Marine Corps and Korps Marinir Republik Indonesia (KORMAR), is aimed at promoting military interoperability and maritime domain awareness capabilities, strengthening relationships, and expanding the capabilities of the participating forces.

At least 180 US Marines from the Marine Rotational Force-Southeast Asia (MRF-SEA) and 260 KORMAR Marines from the 7th Marine Battalion are training closely together at this year's Keris MAREX.

The joint exercise’s activities are focused on increasing combined capabilities for coastal defense, joint fires, rocket artillery, small unmanned aerial systems, and cultural and community engagements.

"Keris MAREX 23 enables MRF-SEA to develop bilateral problem-solving techniques and forges bonds of friendship between Americans and Indonesians," the MRF-SEA communication strategy and operations director, Capt. Larry Boyd, said.

"Most importantly, though, in today's environment, when the world sometimes seems to be facing one crisis after another, exercises like Keris MAREX 23 have become increasingly important," he added.

The exercise highlights the strength and stability of the US-Indonesia relationship and seeks to promote a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, he said.

The exercise covers training evolutions such as patrolling, close-quarters battles and ambushing techniques, unmanned aircraft system employment, sensor-to-strike operations, tactical combat casualty care, and explosive ordnance disposal.

The exercise also includes exchanges on several functional areas, including joint planning, expeditionary advanced basing operations, joint planning operations, and small boat operations.

The exercise will culminate with a mission rehearsal that will seek to increase interoperability and display emerging maritime domain awareness capabilities, the US Embassy informed. (Antaranews)

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