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    Joint, bilateral US and Indonesia Exercise Gema Bhakti kicks off in Jakarta

    Gema Bhakti 2015 Opening Ceremony

    Photo By Capt. Michael Maggitti | Brig. Gen. William F. Seymour, Royal Canadian Air Force, U.S. Pacific Command deputy...... read more read more



    Story by Lt. Lenaya Rotklein 

    Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

    JAKARTA, Indonesia — More than 80 joint defense forces from the U.S. and Indonesia participated in an opening ceremony for annual exercise Gema Bhakti Sept. 14 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

    During the exercise that runs Sept. 14-23, participants will partake in operational-level planning for a notional humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HADR) response scenario.

    Gema Bhakti, Indonesian for "Echo of Good Deeds," is Indonesia’s sole joint exercise and is designed to promote positive military relations, increase cultural awareness and enhance training and understanding of each other’s capabilities in an HADR event.

    “Our training incorporates many different organizations, and our military, humanitarian and civil government partners will work together to plan responses to real-world scenarios that we all know could occur at any time in Southeast Asia, a region that faces threats from active volcanoes, earthquakes and weather-related catastrophes,” said Brig. Gen. William F. Seymour, Royal Canadian Air Force, U.S. Pacific Command deputy director of international operations and engagement.

    This year’s exercise marks the third iteration of the bilateral, joint engagement. Unique to this year, the scenario will incorporate a natural disaster not located in Indonesia. Additionally, this will mark the first year that personnel will be immersed in four two-day workshops rotating through different training lanes to include urban search and rescue, humanitarian civil-military coordination, combined task force rules of engagement, and multinational coordination center organization.

    “We share potential natural disaster threats and this exercise will benefit both parties in helping us prepare,” said 1st Adm. Harjo Susmoro, deputy assistant for Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) operations. “Gema Bhakti is the forum to build knowledge within our respective countries to reach a common goal.”

    At the end of the exercise, participants hope to improve coordination of military capabilities with other government and non-governmental organizations, organize and integrate into a multinational coordination center to provide military support to the notional affected state or country and enhance professional development through bilateral HADR planning in accordance with international disaster response practices.

    Participating forces from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Hawaii National Guard will be working closely with their TNI counterparts. The Hawaii National Guard and Indonesia were paired in 2006 under the National Guard State Partnership Program in which the National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements in support of defense security goals.

    “We’ve come here, military and civilian, soldier and humanitarian, to work together to create solutions for the crises that seem to occur every year in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Seymour. “Our training and planning will improve our ability to respond to these disasters and will save lives.”

    Exercises like Gema Bhakti cultivate civil-military cooperation, emergency preparedness, and enhanced response capabilities.

    For more information about Gema Bhakti, visit:



    Date Taken: 09.14.2015
    Date Posted: 09.16.2015 06:08
    Story ID: 176181
    Location: JAKARTA, ID 

    Web Views: 595
    Downloads: 0