NATUNA SEA -- Two ships under command of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 participated in the sea phase of exercise Garuda Shield 2022 in the Natuna Sea Aug. 3-4.
The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) joined Indonesian Navy, known as Tentera Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Laut (TNI-AL), ships at sea to develop mutual capabilities to address shared maritime security priorities and concerns. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) Formidable-class stealth frigate RSS Supreme (73) and Endurance-class landing platform dock ship RSS Resolution (208) also participated in the Garuda Shield 2022 sea phase.
“The U.S. and Indonesia have enjoyed more than 70 years of bilateral ties,” said Capt. Tom Ogden, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7. “We share an abiding common interest in a more prosperous and secure Indo-Pacific region. We always look forward to exercises like Garuda Shield that clearly and consistently demonstrate the strength of our alliances and partnerships in the region.”
The TNI-AL assets that participated in the sea phase included Bung Tomo-class corvettes KRI Bung Tomo (357) and KRI John Lie (358), Diponegoro-class corvette KRI Frans Kaisiepo (368), and Makassar-class landing platform dock KRI Makassar (590).
“Incorporating and integrating amphibious forces is an essential part of combined training that ensures freedom of the sea in the littorals and reaffirms the United States’ warfighting commitments to our allies and partners throughout the Indo-Pacific,” said Capt. Severn B. Stevens, commanding officer of Green Bay.
The exercise featured complex at-sea training to demonstrate the forces’ ability to work together through numerous events, including divisional tactics designed to practice maneuvering as ships sail together in complex formations. Other focus areas included surface and littoral warfare, search and rescue, a gunnery exercise, and visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) events.
“Meeting our TNI-AL and RSN counterparts at sea gives us the opportunity to flex the capabilities and interoperability of the LCS,” said Cmdr. Clayton Beas, commanding officer of Charleston. “We greatly value the time spent training and sailing with our partners as maritime nations with a shared future and a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Garuda Shield is an annual combined and joint exercise between the Indonesian National Armed Forces and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) designed to strengthen bilateral interoperability, capabilities, trust, and cooperation built over decades of shared experiences.
Green Bay, part of Amphibious Squadron 11, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
Attached to DESRON 7, Charleston is on a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to work alongside allied and partner navies to provide maritime security and stability, key pillars of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
As the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed destroyer squadron in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore, functions as Expeditionary Strike Group 7’s Sea Combat Commander, and builds partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements.
Under Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.