Partnership takes flight over northern waters

31 May 2023

Flying together over Australia’s northern oceans, aircrew from the Royal Australian Air Force’s 11 Squadron and 5 Squadron from Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU) conducted maritime surveillance missions as part of Exercise Albatross AusIndo.

The exercise, based in Darwin this year, is one of three annual training exercises the RAAF conducts with the Indonesian Air Force. It focuses on airborne and ground training with the RAAF P-8A Poseidon and TNI-AU Boeing 737 maritime patrol aircraft.

Tactical coordinator Flight Lieutenant Candice Kaur, of 11 Squadron, said her role on the P-8A was to manage sensors on board and take part in mission planning, including coordinating with the Indonesian Air Force.

One of the missions involved conducting maritime domain awareness.

“We departed from Darwin, operating in nieghbouring areas, and passed any contacts we came across between both air assets,” Flight Lieutenant Kaur said.

Officer Commanding 92 Wing Group Captain Paul Carpenter said during the exercise, which finished on May 24, that the opportunity to train together on exercise built important relationships between the two nations.

“We have both aircraft here on the tarmac at RAAF Base Darwin but, most importantly, we also have our aircrew and ground crew working alongside each other in the same location,” Group Captain Carpenter said.

Commanding Officer 5 Squadron (TNI-AU) Lieutenant Colonel Hendro Sukamdani said the scenario-based missions conducted during the four-day exercise gave the Indonesian aircrew a new experience.

“By being able to meet face-to-face with the Australian aircrew, it allowed us to develop a deeper appreciation for each other’s air capability and share knowledge,” Lieutenant Colonel Hendro Sukamdani said.

It has been 11 years since the exercise, previously conducted annually in Indonesia, took place in Australia.



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