Maritime Operations Working Group 2017
|SYDNEY - A clear, bright Sydney autumn day set the tone for the annual Indonesian Navy (TNI AL) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Maritime Operations Working Group (MOWG). The meeting was held in Sydney 5-6 May 2017 and co-chaired by First Admiral (FADM) Yulianto Mintoro, Vice Assistant Chief for Operations Indonesian Navy (Waasopsal) and Commodore (CDRE) Michael Rothwell, Director General Maritime Operations (DGMAROPS) Australian Navy.
FADM Mintoro, who had visited Sydney as a junior officer over 20 years ago, was delighted to be returning to Australia, as was his six man delegation which comprised four staff from the Operational Strategies-Operation Office: CAPT Erwin S. Aldedharma, CMDR Robert Marpaung, CMDR Sirilus Arif and LCDR Eko Triyatomo, as well CDR Himawan—Staff Officer for Exercise-operation, and CMDR Rikrik Permadi—Staff Officer for Foreign Affair-Intelligence. Brigadier Widad, the Indonesian Defence Attaché to Australia also accompanied the delegation throughout the visit. The Australian delegation comprised: CAPT Nick Hart—Navy Attaché Jakarta, CMDR Samuel Woolrych—Deputy Director Maritime Plans, LCDR Ian Jackson—Maritime Plans, LCDR Thomas Ford—Maritime Border Command, and LEUT Alex Finnis.
The MOWG which was conducted over two days at Fleet Headquarters also included a wonderful trip around Sydney Harbour on the Admiral Hudson, the Commander Australian Fleet’s (COMAUSFLT) boat, which is reserved for use by visiting VIP delegations only. FADM Mintoro and his staff, thoroughly enjoyed the harbour trip and the opportunity to further co-operation with the RAN.
Both DGMAROPS and Waasopsal, established an immediate and friendly rapport at the beginning of the meeting which set the tone for the ensuing talks. The Talks were very friendly, substantive and gave both delegations the opportunity to develop a robust plan of operational engagement for the year ahead.
Since inception in 2013, the MOWG has proven to be an important aspect of the operational relationship between the two Navies. The working group provides an important means to pursue topics of operational importance. In the past, topics discussed have included increased logistics support to Patrol boats from Indonesian ports, maritime boundary issues, opportunities for Naval exercises, improved mutual maritime domain awareness and SAR and this year enabled the delegations to build on the strength of past discussions.
The focus of the 2017 MOWG included: further developing submarine co-operation which will included: RAN attendance at the Asia Pacific Submarine Conference in Surabaya 24-27 Oct, followed by a Waterspace Management Workshop and discussion on SAR training; a review of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the annual RAN/TNI-AL Co-ordinated Patrol (AUSINDO CORPAT); as well as planning for forthcoming mutual ship visits and Exercises such as NEW HORIZON, KOMODO 2018 and Sail Sabang 2017.
The warmth and robustness of the discussions reflected the strength of the navy relationship and enabled our operational planners to ensure we maximise the effectiveness of the relationship, and find opportunities to enhance the capabilities of our ships and crews. 2017 will be busy Navy to Navy year but we look forward to see the fruitful outcomes of this very effective planning forum.