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NEWS | Sept. 1, 2023

Operational Staff Exercise Super Garuda Shield Opening Ceremony

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

The Super Garuda Shield 2023, operational staff exercise kicked off with an opening ceremony at the Warfighting Center in Surabaya, Indonesia this morning. The SGS2023 operational STAFFEX is a U.S. INDOPACOM Joint and multi-national exercise planning event with the Indonesian National Armed Forces, also known as Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI).

The intent of the SGS2023 operational STAFFEX is to improve understanding of the Joint planning process, joint staff functions, joint Command and Control (C2), develop the TNI Joint Regional Defense Command (KOGABWILHAN), explore the command relationships between higher and subordinate organizations, integration of service (Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force, SOF) capabilities into Joint staff operations, and practice of joint warfighting functions determining final logistics resource and manpower requirements.

“We [the TNI] are very glad to be able to hold the STAFFEX for SGS23 here in Surabaya,” said TNI Admiral Edi, Commander of Guspurla Koormada 2. “The theme of the exercise over the next two weeks will focus on the transition planning in defense operations.”

The training audience for this years’ STAFFEX will include members from all the military branches of the TNI, and U.S. Forces along with Soldiers and Airmen from the Hawaii National Guard, the Australian Armed forces, and the United Kingdom Armed forces.

“Super Garuda Shield is the United States’ largest military exercise with Indonesia and strengthens the U.S – Indonesian bi-lateral relationship through planning, training, and exercising together,”stated Maj. Gen. Jered P. Helwig, Commanding General, 8th Theater Sustainment Command.

This is the second year that the TNI and U.S. INDOPACOM have addressed the KOGABWILHAN concept in an operational level of planning. The KOGABWILHAN is analogous to the U.S. Department of Defense combatant commands. The exercise builds on the successes and lessons learned from previous years’ exercises Garuda Shield and GEMA BHAKTI, which has since evolved into what is now the second iteration of Super Garuda Shield.

The 20 plus Hawaii National Guard Soldiers and Airmen in the training audience will provide subject matter expertise throughout the SGS2023 Operational STAFFEX as they have been executing planning exercise GEMA BHAKTI over the previous 10 years. Over those 10 years, the Guardsmen and women have exchanged extensive knowledge of military planning with the TNI, gained from years of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) efforts, at both the tactical and operational level of planning, through the State Partnership Program (SPP). Through the SPP, 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 and corollary engagements, thereby spanning military, governmental, economic, and social realms. The HING brings a broad spectrum of experience forged from the past few years and have built “J-Staffs” to respond to recent real-world domestic operations like volcanic eruptions, floods, COVID-19, and currently, the Lahaina Wildfire Response in Hawaii.

Super Garuda Shield 2023 is an annual exercise that has significantly grown in scope and size since 2009. SGS2023 is the second consecutive time this exercise has grown into a combined and joint event, highlighting the 7 participating and 12 observing nations’ commitment to partnership and a free and open Indo-Pacific.

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