Bushmaster fosters Australia-Indonesia ties

After completing extensive training on the Bushmaster-protected mobility vehicle (PMV), twenty-five troops from the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) Peacekeeping Centre proudly stood on parade at the Gary Holmes Centre of the 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (5RAR).

The Parliament of Indonesia formally accepted the gift of 15 Bushmaster PMVs in April, despite the fact that the donation was initially announced in 2021.

TNI soldiers touched down in Darwin within a matter of weeks to begin a thorough training program on the patrol vehicles. This training package was provided by Thales Digital Systems and covered basic operation, demanding 4×4 operations, vehicle maintenance, and communications equipment.

While on secondment to the TNI Peacekeeping Centre, Major Matt Breckenridge was stationed in Darwin to supervise the Bushmaster training.

Before moving on to the real thing and into the training area to handle complex terrain and water crossings, the students began the driver portion of the course by using the vehicle simulator, in which they learned the fundamentals of operating a PMV.

The Bushmaster was then serviced and maintained by the TNI soldiers, beginning with the most fundamental tasks.

As a result of the TNI students being chosen for their mechanical expertise rather than their ability to speak English, interpreters were responsible for providing translation services. Because of this, the training was able to cover maintenance concerns that required a higher level of expertise and depth.

According to what Major Breckenridge had to say about the purpose of the training, “the goal was to give these soldiers the skills they need to safely operate and maintain the vehicles and associated communications equipment in harsh environments.”

“The Bushmaster is particularly well suited to missions where there is an increased risk of ambush, mines, or improvised explosive devices,” which is prevalent in the mission regions where TNI conducts peacekeeping operations. “The Bushmaster is particularly well suited to missions where there is an increased risk of ambush, mines, or improvised explosive devices.”

Major Breckenridge pointed out that the Thai People’s Defense Force was the seventh largest contributor to global peacekeeping operations in terms of manpower and equipment. At any given time, there were more than 2500 members of the TNI serving overseas.

According to Major Breckenridge, the fact that two of the personal motor vehicles (PMVs) used in the training were already carrying the internationally recognizable livery of the United Nations was an essential reminder of the task that they were performing.

He stated, “We’re very proud to be able to support them in developing that peacekeeping capability,” and that sums up our feelings exactly.

In accordance with the priority that the Defense Strategic Review places on establishing ties in the Indo-Pacific region, the training also included an essential integration component.

While strengthening their bonds with their 5RAR hosts, the TNI service members were afforded the opportunity to travel throughout the Top End.

Major Breckenridge even took the TNI contingent fishing, and they brought in a catch that was worthy of being called rather impressive.

“The more opportunities we can provide for TNI and Australian soldiers to collaborate and work together, the better we will understand one another and be able to work together,” he explained.

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