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NEWS | Sept. 9, 2022

Gema Bhakti 2022 Kicks-off with Opening Ceremony

By Master Sgt. Andrew Jackson State of Hawaii, Department of Defense, Public Affairs Office

JAKARTA, Indonesia Members of the U.S Military and the Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI, Indonesian Armed Forces) kicked off Joint Staff Exercise Gema Bhakti 22 on September 9, 2022 with an opening ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia. Exercise Gema Bhakti 22 (GB22) is a staff exercise (STAFFEX) between U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) and the TNI and their components and it is in its tenth year. The exercise is designed to improve joint operational-level staff planning and processes. GB22 also promotes positive military relations, assuring security and stability in the region, increases cultural awareness, and enhances command and control proficiency.

“We are very glad that Gema Bhakti exercise 2022 can be conducted here in Jakarta,” said Maj. Gen. Agus Suhardi, Assistant of Operations to TNI. “The theme of our exercise this week will be transition planning to the defense led operation.”

This years Gema Bhakti will be staffed by the TNI along with other governmental and non-governmental agencies in addition to elements from USINDOPACOM and the Hawaii National Guard (HING). Approximately 110 USINDOPACOM and U.S. Inter-Agency personnel and about 30 TNI personnel and members from non-governmental agencies will participate.

“Gema Bhakti has evolved from a small, less complex exercise to a much more challenging and robust joint exercise that enhances TNI and US interoperability and multinational capability”, said Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, State of Hawai‘i Adjutant General. “We will work together to conduct operational-level planning for crisis response - as well as leveraging actors from the civilian and the humanitarian community using the Multinational Forces Standard Operating Procedures (MNF-SOP)”

The Soldiers and Airmen from the Hawaii National Guard bring a broad spectrum of experience of Joint Task Force operations. There have been three Joint Task Forces stood up in Hawaii since 2018 to coordinate responce to flooding, landslides, volcanic activity and COVID-19. The Hawaii National Guard has long-standing relationship with the TNI and been involved in every iteration of Gema Bhakti.

“The Hawai‘I National Guard and the U.S Forces are here to show the TNI what looks right in joint operations not tell them how to do it,” stated Brig. Gen. Moses Kaoiwi Jr., Hawaii National Guard, director of Joint Staff. “Our Soldiers and Airmen bring a lot of experiences to share and have grown from learning the TNI perspective as well.”

The Hawaii National Guard and Indonesia are linked by the Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program (SPP). In its 29th year, the SPP includes 82 unique security partnerships involving 89 nations. Through the program, the National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements in support of defense security goals but also leverages whole-of-society relationships and capabilities to facilitate broader interagency engagements, thereby spanning military, governmental, economic, and social realms.

“The first iteration of Gema Bhakti in 2013 introduced the joint command concept in mission planning,” Said Maj. Marco Hartanto, Hawai‘i Army National Guard. “Gema Bhatki has now moved from planning a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) mission to the coordination and planning of a mission focused on deterring of enemy aggression. When you plan for disaster response you are mainly focused on sustainment portion but a detriment operation you must exercise all the military functions and capabilities of planning. This exercise will determine the format of Gema Bhakti towards increasingly more complex scenarios over the next the years.”

Gema Bhakti will provide the TNI a venue to continue the development of command relationships between TNI Headquarters (MABES TNI) and TNI Regional Defense Commands (KOGABWILHAN) to support joint operations. This will allow the TNI to be nimbler in regional responses and prepared to react in contingency operations.

Gema Bhatki structured with a mix of academic lectures lead by instructors from the TNI and U.S. Military. During the STAFFEX portion, planners from INDOPACOM, TNI and HING will assemble in teams to form the different J-Staff Sections from J-1 (personnel) to J-6 (command and control, communications, cyber). From there they will work the response to a fictional scenario for the exercise. The scenario will take place on a notional continent, with forces from the military (U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and their TNI counterparts). The focus of the STAFFEX is planning, and course of action (COA) development, with COA briefs leading to COA selection.

“I look forward to strengthening relationships, improving readiness, and increasing interoperability between the United States’ and Indonesia’s armed forces,” said Hara.

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