NEWS | Nov. 2, 2020

Thousands of U.S. Soldiers train with Indo-Pacific partners in Louisiana

U.S. Army Pacific

Thousands of Soldiers from the U.S., Indonesian, and Royal Thai armies trained tirelessly together during the month of October in the harsh, grueling environment of the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

The training was designed to enhance the interoperability and readiness of soldiers to improve their combat effectiveness in the event they are called upon to defend regional security.

“We’re never going to fight alone,” Gen. Michael X. Garrett, commander, U.S. Forces Command.

Garrett said trust — which is a foundation of relationships — must be worked at and built up, and is why training with partner nations is important.

“Having the Indonesian Company and the Thai Company participate in this rotation with their brothers and sisters in the 25th ID is absolutely the way we’re going to fight in the future and if you’re going to fight that way, you’ve got to train that way,” Garrett said.

The FORSCOM commander said the JRTC could see more partner nation training in the future.

“Senior military leaders for several years now have been vocal in that the United States will never go to war by itself again,” said Maj. Gen. James Jarrard, commander, 25th Infantry Division, following a dinner with the delegation from the Indonesian Army Oct. 27. “When we go to war, we will need allies and partners. For us to be good, we have to train with them now.”

Jarrard said any ties that can be developed now will benefit each army if called upon to go to war.

“That’s why it is critically important for us to not only forge bonds at the tactical level, but also at the operational level to make sure we understand how the other works,” he said.

Jarrard echoed Garrett’s comments about the importance of future partner nation training.

“While this is the first trip for the Indonesians to JRTC, the Royal Thai Army came with us last year,” Jarrard said. “They both say they are interested in continuing this relationship, especially to the Joint Readiness Training Center.”

Jarrard said this year’s JRTC rotation was not the first training opportunity with partner nations during the past year.

“We went there (Thailand) earlier this year and they came to Hawaii during our train up, and now they are here,” he said. “We continue to make those ties even stronger as we train with each other multiple times during the year.”