JAKARTA - The very successful 2017 annual bilateral Joint Operations and Exercises Sub Committee (JOESC) was held in Jakarta 23 May 2017. JOESC 2017 was co-chaired by Major General (MAJGEN) Greg Bilton, Deputy Chief Joint Operations Australia (DCJOPS), and the Assistant Chief for Operations to TNI Commander in chief (Panglima), MAJGEN Lodewyk Pusung, who are both recently appointed.
JOESC is a bilateral annual Committee meeting under the Framework of Understanding between the ADF and the TNI which was signed in Jakarta, 19 November 2012, between the Chief of the Australian Defence Force (CDF) and the Commander in Chief of the Indonesian National Defence Forces (Panglima TNI). JOESC is an extremely important bilateral meeting as it frames the operations and Exercise engagement between the ADF and TNI each year, and sets the pace for future engagement. It is complimented by three other sub committees, namely the: Joint Intelligence Sub-Committee (JISC), Joint Education and Training Sub-Committee (JETSC) and the Joint Logistic Sub-Committee (JLSC).
In his second visit to Indonesia, and first as JOESC Co-chair, MAJGEN Bilton was supported by key operations staff from Defence Headquarters and Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC) which included: Ms Linda McCann – Acting A/Assistant Secretary South and Southeast Asia Branch, International Policy Division; Wing Commander Gerard Cunningham, Deputy Director Engagement Asia HQJOC, Commander Sam Woolrych, Deputy Director Maritime Plans HQJOC; and Major Daniel Wake, MA TO DCJOPS. Captain (CAPT) Nick Hart—Navy Attaché Jakarta also accompanied the delegation throughout the visit. The TNI delegation brought a wealth of experience which included: Captain (Navy) Mohamad Zaenal – Paban V/Kerkamtas Sops TNI, Lieutenant Colonel (LTCOL) Inf Cahyadi Imam Suhada – Pabandya-3/Kermabatas Sops TNI), Lieutenant Commander (LCDR), LCDR Marini Virgianty - Pabanda Evakermabatas Paban V/Kerkamtas Sops TNI, and Major Adm Hendik Hardyanto – Pabanda Evakerm Paban V/Kerkamtas SopsTNI.
From the opening moments of the meeting, MAJGEN’s Bilton and Lodewyk struck an immediate rapport which was relaxed and candid, and which set the tone for the remainder of the days meeting. The Co-Chairs enthusiastically discussed options for enhancing joint bilateral activities, as a means to furthering the relationship and adding greater complexity into our activities in future. They also agreed a full suite of Army, Navy, Air Force, and joint exercises for the remainder of 2017 and the first half of 2018. A wonderful reception hosted by MAJGEN Lodewyk that evening completed a very successful day’s discussions.
Taking the opportunity to visit key TNI units whilst in Jakarta, on Wed 24 May MAJGEN Bilton travelled to Sentul where he toured the Indonesian Defence Force Peacekeeping Centre (PMPP). Both Australia and Indonesia are significant contributors to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, and his visit to PMPP was beneficial to further understanding how Australia and Indonesia may work together to lead this issue regionally in the future.
The cordial and constructive discussions between MAJGEN Lodewyk and Bilton during JPESC 2017 reflected the strength of the military relationship and enabled our operational planners to ensure we maximise the effectiveness of the relationship, and find opportunities to enhance co-operation in the future. 2017 will be busy and positive year for the TNI/ADF operational and Exercise engagement.