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Home : News : State Partnership Program
NEWS | Aug. 31, 2023

Hawaii Guard Joins Super Garuda Shield Indo-Pacific Exercise

By Master Sgt. Andrew Jackson, State of Hawaii, Department of Defense, Public Affairs Office

SURABAYA, Indonesia - The Super Garuda Shield 2023 operational staff exercise began Aug. 31 with an opening ceremony at the Warfighting Center in Surabaya.

The operational STAFFEX is a U.S. INDOPACOM joint and multinational exercise planning event with the Indonesian National Armed Forces, Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI).

“We [the TNI] are very glad to be able to hold the STAFFEX for SGS23 here in Surabaya,” said TNI Admiral Edi, commander of Guspurla Koormada 2. “The theme of the exercise over the next two weeks will focus on the transition planning in defense operations.”

The training audience includes members from all the TNI and U.S. military branches, including Hawaii National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, and the armed forces of Australia and the United Kingdom.

“Super Garuda Shield is the United States’ largest military exercise with Indonesia and strengthens the U.S-Indonesian bilateral relationship through planning, training, and exercising together,” said Maj. Gen. Jered P. Helwig, commanding general, 8th Theater Sustainment Command.

This is the second year that the TNI and U.S. INDOPACOM have addressed the KOGABWILHAN concept in an operational level of planning. The KOGABWILHAN is analogous to the U.S. Department of Defense combatant commands. The exercise builds on the successes and lessons from previous Garuda Shield and GEMA BHAKTI exercises.

The 20-plus participating Hawaii National Guardsmen will provide subject matter expertise learned while executing planning exercise GEMA BHAKTI for 10 years. 

Over those 10 years, the Guard members have exchanged extensive knowledge of military planning with the TNI, gained from years of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief at the tactical and operational level of planning through the State Partnership Program. 

The Hawaii Guard and Indonesia have been partners in the 30-year-old SPP since 2006.

The HING has built “J-Staffs” to respond to volcanic eruptions, floods, COVID-19, and the Lahaina wildfire response.

Super Garuda Shield 2023 is an annual exercise that has grown in scope and size since 2009, highlighting the participating nations’ commitment to partnership and a free and open Indo-Pacific.