International exercise goes virtual

Lieutenant Thomas Roache during Exercise Wirra Jaya at Robertson Barracks, Northern Territory. Photo: Corporal Rodrigo Villablanca

International exercise goes virtual

Members of 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, conducted Exercise Wirra Jaya in a virtual format for the first time from Robertson Barracks in the Northern Territory.

Personnel remained at the home of the Tiger Battalion, while participants from The Indonesian Army, Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat dialled in from Palur, Central Java in Indonesia.

Because of the COVID-19 travel restrictions, the exercise was altered to suit the virtual delivery of scenario-based training.

Officer Commanding Delta Company Major David Evangelidis was the lead instructor for the exercise and was supported by his second in charge and four lieutenants from the unit. 

“This exercise proved that there are no barriers to maintaining this important habitual relationship with Indonesia,” Major Evangelidis said.

“Sometimes you have to think outside the box and use the technology available to continue to develop these important relationships, despite the restrictions induced by the Coronavirus.” 

Made possible with the assistance of linguists from the ADF and Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat, the four-day activity allowed teams to discuss mechanised infantry operations, combat support considerations and combined arms attack methods to continue to develop the interoperability between Australian and Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat personnel and their equipment.

Lieutenant Tom Roache, an instructor on exercise Wirra Jaya, said he enjoyed the camaraderie among participants.

“I was really impressed by the Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat’s professionalism, enthusiasm and the excellent presentation they produced as part of the course,” Lieutenant Roache said.

Indonesian officer Major Risky Aditya, of the 411th Raider Infantry Battalion, said the exercise was a great learning opportunity between the Australian and Indonesian armies. 

“We look forward to the opportunity to travel to Australia in 2021 to continue our Exercise Wirra Jaya relationship,” Major Aditya said.

The activity concluded with a virtual gift exchange ceremony to thank the Indonesian Army for their long friendship with Australia.

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