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NEWS | May 22, 2024

Hawaii Guard Supports Exchange with Partner Indonesia

By Tech. Sgt. John Linzmeier, 154th Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Hawaii National Guard medical professionals supported a security cooperation exchange in Jakarta May 6-7 as part of bilateral defense discussions between the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the Tentara Nasional Indonesia.

The exchange served as a midterm review for the December event held between the two nations in Hawaii.

The Hawaii National Guard and Indonesia have been partners under the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program since 2006. 

Throughout the two-day event, medical professionals from the Hawaii Army National Guard and their TNI equivalents focused on building mutual training initiatives. 

The assembly of leaders and career-field experts from both nations served as a valuable platform for partnered militaries to evaluate their progress in enhancing each other’s defense capabilities. 

As Hawaii’s dedicated partner in the SPP, Indonesia has a longstanding relationship with Hawaii Guardsmen and shares a need for robust emergency response services to provide aid in natural disasters.

Maj. Ryan Ruiz, a full-time nurse and SPP representative for the May exchange, said there is much to learn from TNI’s capabilities to respond to volcano eruptions, cyclones, tsunamis and earthquakes. 

Medical discussions centered on enhancing tactical combat casualty care and combat lifesaver proficiencies among Indonesian forces.

“It’s clear that Indonesia has an appetite to grow their TCCC program and become self-sustaining,” said Ruiz. “We were fortunate to have brought the Hawaii Army National Guard’s senior medic with us on this trip, and it helped us identify some of their specific needs to move forward. This assessment also helped reaffirm that Indonesia is likely well ahead of other partners in their program, giving us a clear path of completing a few more steps to have them reach their medical goals.“

As part of the State Partnership Program, the Hawaii National Guard has facilitated numerous TCCC-based bilateral training events with the TNI. Ruiz said the National Guard’s longstanding relationship with the Indonesian military has been instrumental in accelerating defense objectives. 

Col. Brandon Torres, who helped plan the discussions, supports SPP exchanges in his National Guard capacity. And he recently completed a tour in the INDOPACOM’s surgeon general’s office, supporting several SPP events.

While English was the primary language spoken during this event, many conversations were in Indonesian. U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. Aditya Utoyo, a logistics specialist raised in Jakarta, provided translations.

“I want to say thank you to the U.S. and especially to the [Hawaii National Guard] because the HING has many programs that can support us, especially for empowering our medical capacity,“ said TNI Lt. Cdr. Ronny Basirun Simatupang, Indonesia Armed Forces Surgeon General Headquarters staff officer and emergency nurse. “We discussed a training plan for our trainers in tactical casualty combat care. As you may know, in Indonesia, we have many personnel, but what we really need is more instructors. Hopefully, we can build an introduction to TCCC and make a qualified team of trainers and do a field exercise together.”

At the conclusion of the event, bilateral teams of specialists planned benchmarks and goals. In addition to progress in the medical sphere, other working groups made strides in logistics, intelligence, communications, education and special programs, and training and exercises.



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