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NEA Kicks Off in Indonesia

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070809-15
Release Date: 8/9/2007 5:47:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Frank S. Montellano, Commander Task Force 73 Public Affairs

JAKARTA, Indonesia (NNS) -- The first Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) exercise began Aug. 6 with an opening ceremony at the Indonesian Military Naval Base, followed by a reception aboard USS Ford (FFG 54).

Rear Adm. Agus Suhartono S.E., commander of the Indonesian Western Fleet Command, offered his official greetings and remarks in English to an audience of officers and enlisted personnel from the U.S. Navy, Indonesian Navy and Indonesian Marine Corps.

“All [NEA] activities are aimed at not only increasing the knowledge and professionalism of our soldiers, but also to maintain and enhance the relationship between our two countries,” Suhartono said. “Our two navies have always tried to maintain the existing bonds of friendship that were founded many years ago and continually improved over time.”

Commander, Logistics Group, Western Pacific/Commander Task Force 73 Rear Adm. William R. Burke followed his Indonesian counterpart and spoke about the continued cooperation and interoperability between the two countries.

“No country can do it alone,” Burke said. “It has to be a team effort. NEA presents our navies with an opportunity to learn from each other, to keep the fires [of cooperation] burning. Both of our navies and Marine Corps will learn a lot from each other by continuing to engage in a transfer of ideas through mutually beneficial training.”

Guests attending the evening reception aboard Ford included the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, Cameron Hume, and other dignitaries and defense attachés from various countries, including Canada and Vietnam. Dinner was provided by the ship’s mess and was served in the helicopter bay.

The exercise will focus heavily on shared training, especially in the areas of Military Operations Other than War (MOOTW). Symposiums and open discussions will cover various aspects of naval tasks, ranging from amphibious raids, riverine operations, laws of armed conflict, rules of engagement, disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, piracy and others.

A sports day took place on Aug. 7 and U.S. Navy and Marine Corps personnel played their counterparts in friendly matches of basketball and volleyball.

NEA is a five-day, in-port training exercise between the Indonesian Navy and Marines and the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps to improve interoperability and tactical collaboration in the training environment.

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