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RAAF and Indonesia Air Force team up in Townsville

written by Charbel Kadib | September 27, 2022

An Indonesian Air Force Hercules lands at RAAF Base Townsville (Defence, LACW Annika Smit)

The RAAF and Indonesian Air Force are teaming up at RAAF Base Townsville for Exercise Rajawali Ausindo.

The bilateral activity, to take place from 25 to 29 September 2022, involves air mobility exercises supported by a C-27J Spartan for the first time.

Activities are expected to include aerial delivery of supplies and cargo to a drop zone, and rehearsal of non-combatant evacuation operations.

Wing Commander David Torrington, Commanding Officer of the RAAF’s No. 35 Squadron, said the exercise would ensure both nations are equipped to effectively respond to emergencies across the region.

“Both our countries have a long history of using air mobility to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in the wider Indo-Pacific,” WGCDR Torrington said.


“Exercise Rajawali Ausindo 22 will allow Indonesian and Australian aviators to understand each other’s practices, plan air mobility missions together, and fly in a range of scenarios.

“The training and relationship building in this exercise will benefit the RAAF and TNI-AU when we conduct operations together in the future.”

Australia and Indonesia have shared responsibility for hosting Exercise Rajawali Ausindo since the inaugural activity in 1994.

Exercise Rajawali coincides with more than 1,600 Australian and Singaporean armed forces taking part in amphibious military training exercise Trident in central Queensland.

Helicopter carrier HMAS Adelaide will operate alongside Singapore Navy vessels RSS Persistence and RSS Endurance in the training program that will last until 3 October.

The ADF said the operation at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area builds on over three decades of joint military engagement between the two countries.

HMAS Adelaide is the largest ship ever built for the RAN and was created by contractors BAE Systems Australia and Navantia.

The ‘Landing Helicopter Dock’ is described as one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea ‘amphibious deployment systems’ in the world and can transport troops along with their equipment.

HMAS Adelaide (III) was commissioned at a ceremony at Fleet Base East, Sydney on 4 December 2015 and is one of two ‘Canberra-class’ vessels.

Exercise Trident, meanwhile, forms part of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership — a deal aimed at jointly developing key training areas in Queensland under the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles noted the importance of engaging with Singapore, described as one of Australia’s closest regional partners.

“Our defence relationship is characterised by trust and friendship, underpinned by our shared commitment to the region,” he said.

“Exercise Trident enables us to deepen our military-to-military ties and shows how closely we can work together when it counts.”

Exercise Trident coincides with Exercise Kakadu 22 — a multinational training activity involving more than 15 vessels, over 30 aircraft and approximately 3,000 personnel from more than 20 countries.

Conducted in the Northern Australian Exercise area, KA22 will be led by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and supported by the Royal Australian Air Force.

The biennial exercise, which commenced in 1993, is the RAN’s flagship international engagement activity.

In addition to an at-sea exercise program, KA22 is expected to involve a harbour phase comprising briefings, a Fleet Commanders and Senior Leaders’ conference, cultural events, sports and social functions.


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