Australia and Indonesia began four days of naval exercises on November 9.
Exercise New Horizon, which takes place this year from the 9th to 12th of November, is regarded as the most important naval exercise between the two countries.
Both navies will take part in various activities both at sea and ashore, including exercises in the areas of anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, tactical maneuvering, replenishments at sea and communications. It will also include a helicopter exercise to highlight bilateral cooperation between the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Colonel Didong Rio Duta indicated before the exercise began.
The focus of the activities, Colonel Didong told national news agency Antara News in early September amid preparations, will be on military operations other than war (MOOTW), consisting of a harbor phase, sea phase and post-exercise phase. The sea phase would be held in the waters around the Java Sea and the harbor phase would take place in the Navy’s Eastern Fleet Command. Helicopters, marine patrol aircraft and ships would be involved.
Maritime security will be a key part of the joint exercise, the Australian embassy said in a statement released as New Horizon kicked off. It added that the Royal Australian Navy Frigate HMAS Arunta and RAN tanker HMAS Sirius had arrived in Surabaya for the exercise. Cameron Steil, the commanding officer of HMAS Arunta, emphasized the importance of the exercise to Australia’s relationship with Indonesia as well as the region more generally.
“Our relationship with the TNI-AL and Indonesia in general remains one of the most important that we have in this region, Steil said.
“The activities we will undertake together will allow us to operate more closely with each other to better protect out maritime interests. We share a common determination to keep our waterways secure.”