U.S., Indonesia conclude crisis response exercise in Jakarta

Joint Exercise GEMA BHAKTI 21 (GB21), a Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) staff exercise between U.S. Indo Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) and Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI, Indonesian Armed Forces), concluded on September 28, 2021 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The eight-day exercise was designed to improved joint, operational-level staff planning and processes during crisis response. It also promoted positive military relations, assuring security and stability in the region, increased cultural awareness, and enhanced command and control proficiency.

This was the ninth iteration of GEMA BHAKTI, Indonesian for “Echo of Good Deeds.” USINDOPACOM and TNI conducted planning for a scenario involving forces from the U.S. military (Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines and their TNI counterparts), as well as actors from the civilian and humanitarian community, such as U.N. World Food Program, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, and the Red Cross.

Approximately 40 USINDOPACOM and U.S. Inter-Agency personnel, 30 TNI personnel, and additional representatives from non-military organizations took part. Approximately 20 Hawaii National Guardsmen supported this iteration of GB21, collaborating with the TNI on the precursor operational design workshop.

“This year’s exercise refreshed the relationship between the TNI and US military, especially amidst the COVID pandemic and all of the mitigations enforced,” said Brig. Gen. Stephen F. Logan, Hawaii National Guard Deputy Adjutant General. “The experience gained during the table-top exercise that keyed on transferring from peace-enforcing to peace-keeping was immeasurable. In the past nine years, Exercise GEMA BHAKTI has evolved and increased in complexity. GEMA BHAKTI 21 incorporated a staff exercise with multiple scenarios.”

The exercise involved a fictional country experiencing instability in its border regions that is also destabilizing surrounding nations. Scenario variables were taken from real world historical events. The exercise focused on planning and coordination related to Peace-Enforcing Operations and Peacekeeping Operations, including Marine Security (MARSEC), countering transnational threats, and Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response (HA/DR).

Image credit: State Dept. / U.S. Department of Defense.  

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