Indonesian Warships Off To Location Of Military Exercise

By Bernama,

Surabaya : A total of 34 Indonesian warships with more than 13,000 Eastern Fleet personnel on Wednesday started moving toward the location of the joint military exercise in Sangata, East Kalimantan, Antara news agency reported.

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Eastern Fleet commander Vice Admiral Lili Supramono is leading the taskforce moving the location of the joint military exercise which has its headquarters on the Indonesian warship KRI Surabaya-591.

Eastern Fleet chief spokesman Lt Col Toni Syaiful said that the 34 warships comprised one reconnaissance submarine, 15 frigates and corvettes, eight landing ship tanks (LSTs) as troops carriers, eight minesweepers, hospital ships, and special landing vessels, he said.

He also said that in this year’s joint exercise, the Navy also sent three Cassa planes, two Bell helicopters, and on Bolcow chopper, while the marine corps sent 20 amphibious tanks, 35 amphibious reconnaissance vessels,10 amphibious troops carriers, 32 rubber boats, four 120-mm Howizers, four rocket launchers, three Tetra demolishing vehicles, he said.

The Eastern Fleet’s frogmen unit sent six teams, including two reconnaissance personnel, supported by two hovercraft, one combat boat and four Sea Readers.

According to the spokesman, the naval forces joining in this year’s joint exercise were the biggest and the most complete since the first joint exercise in 1996.

One by one the Indonesian warships started to move leaving their base in an anti-mine and anti-air attack formation. The convoy of warships passed the Madura Strait under the escort of minesweepers, while the submarine KRI-Cakra-401 watched the movement of the convoy from under the surface of the sea.

In its right and left flanks, the convoy was escorted by two anti-guided missile frigates and two corvettes.

“The aim of this year’s joint exercise is aimed at controlling the Sekerat beachhead in Sangatta which was simulated to have been seized by another country,” the spokesman said.

The amphibious landing attack will be witnessed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, cabinet ministers, members of the House of Representatives, the Military (TNI) Chief, and the four chiefs of staff, on board KRI dr Soeharso-990, on June 16.