Indonesia, US Begin ‘Super Garuda Shield’ Military Exercise
Story Code : 1007186
Asian and US allies expressed concern about China’s “increasing assertiveness in the Pacific,” but Washington claimed that the drills “were not aimed at any country” even though they would be significantly larger than previous exercises.
At least 4,000 US and Indonesian soldiers will be joined by forces from Australia and Singapore, as well as Japan, which is taking part in the yearly training for the first time.
The drill is taking place in Sumatra, an Indonesian island in western Indonesia, and the Riau islands, an Indonesian province of islets near Singapore and Malaysia.
“This is really an exercise to build trust, build togetherness, mutual understanding, increase capability and other related matters,” Major General Stephen Smith, commander of the participating US troops, told reporters in Jakarta on Friday. “So this is really a military exercise and not a threat to any party.”