12 Sep 23. Super Garuda Shield: U.S., Partners Train in Indo-Pacific. Just weeks after completing the largest ever Talisman Sabre in Australia, U.S. and partner forces are back in the field for another large-scale exercise designed to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific.
This year’s Exercise Super Garuda Shield has brought seven participating nations and another 12 observers to Indonesia for a series of joint, multinational drills reflecting what U.S. defense officials say is a growing demand to participate in multinational training events.
This year marks the second iteration of Super Garuda Shield, which evolved out of bilateral Garuda Shield exchanges between the U.S. and Indonesia that began in 2009.
About 2,100 U.S. and 1,900 Indonesian troops make up the bulk of forces in this year’s exchange.
Troops from Australia, Japan, Singapore, France and the United Kingdom are also participating in the two—week exercise, which kicked off August 31. Several countries — Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Germany, India, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, South Korea and Timor Leste — are also present as observers.
The training includes academic exchanges and professional development exercises, in addition to a command and control simulation, amphibious and airborne operations, an airfield seizure exercise, and field training that culminates in a live-fire event.
“It’s an opportunity to continue to develop our warfighting readiness and interoperability,” said Army Maj. Gen. Marcus Evans, commander of the 25th Infantry Division and the U.S. military lead for Super Garuda Shield.
“Everyone sees the value of training in the region,” he said.
Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division were among the nearly 30,000 troops from 13 nations that participated in Talisman Sabre this year. The exercise included a variety of large-scale logistics and amphibious assault training operations and multinational firepower demonstrations and field training exercises.
The unit has also been employed among the nearly 700 Defense Department personnel mobilized as part of the interagency response to the Maui wildfires.
“Coming off of Talisman Sabre, still being engaged in supporting the efforts in Maui, and then simultaneously executing Super Garuda Shield … I think it really shows the agility of this Army division here in the Pacific,” Evans said.
Evans said regional allies are matching the United States’ buy-in and agility, as evidenced by the expanding scale of the exercises taking place in the Indo-Pacific.
Just weeks after hosting Talisman Sabre, Australia sent a tank and infantry combat team and staff elements to participate in Super Garuda Shield.
Australian forces transported more than a dozen armored vehicles—including M1A1 Abrams tanks and support vehicles—thousands of miles from the southern coast of Australia into Indonesia to participate in the exercise.
After completing the cross-continental transit from the city of Adelaide in southern Australia to Darwin in the north, a U.S. Army vessel ferried the armored vehicles for their final leg into Indonesia.
Australian army Lt. Col. Michael Henderson, commanding officer of the 1st Armored Regiment, said exercising the capability to move troops and equipment throughout the theater immense training value.
“That’s one of the major objectives for us as the Australian Defense Force, just to demonstrate our ability and willingness to project credible combat force up in this region and to be able to do so with partners and allies,” said Henderson, who’s serving as Australian Defense Force contingent commander for Super Garuda Shield.
That agility among regional allies will continue to pay dividends as the U.S. leads like-minded partners.
Talisman Sabre and Super Garuda Shield are among the more than 40 army-to-army and joint exercises led by the U.S. each year as part of Operation Pathways, a collection of multinational exercises throughout the Indo-Pacific and a key pillar of the United States’ integrated deterrence strategy.
And the increased appetite among allies and partners to participate in multinational exercises throughout the Indo—Pacific is a key indicator that the United States’ strategy in the region is paying off.
“This thirst and this behavior that they are exhibiting in the region is they appreciate the ability to come together as a multinational force learn from one another, and they are doing it more and more,” said Gen. Charles A. Flynn, commander of U.S. Army Pacific.
“To me, that is the greatest indicator of the success we are having,” he said.
Flynn added that the exercises are a sign that U.S. allies are “speaking with their actions” in response to China’s aggressive behavior in the region.
Flynn’s remarks during a roundtable discussion at the Hudson Institute in Washington echo optimism expressed by Ely Ratner, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs.
“We are delivering on our vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific and absolutely strengthening deterrence in the region,” Ratner said at the Defense News Conference in Arlington, Virginia, last week.
He noted that U.S. military-to-military relations between the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the other countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are stronger than they had ever been.”
“The upshot is that we have been engaging in a number of activities with them that have … led to a more distributed mobile, resilient and lethal force posture in the region,” Ratner said.
Both Evans and Henderson said the value of training with partner forces in the region cannot be overstated.
“The more often we’re able to train in environments like this, the more we learn from each other and plan together,” Henderson said. “We skill share, and, really importantly, we build people-to-people links.”
“I think what’s really important is that individuals, right down to the lowest level, get to understand their counterparts,” he said. (Source: US DoD)
06 Sep 23. The UK’s nuclear guardians, Royal Marines of 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group (FPG), stay sharp for no-fail mission on Exercise TARTAN EAGLE 23. Royal Marines have completed rigorous training honing the skills vital to protecting the UK’s nuclear deterrent.
Marines of 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group are on duty 24/7 365 days a year, tasked with guarding the UK’s ultimate weapon and the Vanguard-class submarines that carry it. These specialist commandos are based at Faslane in Scotland, from where the submarines operate, and are required to be experts in a range of tight and close-quarters combat environments.
A yearly exercise – named TARTAN EAGLE – alternates between the UK and US, and keeps the Marines from both nations, who are committed to this specialist role, razor sharp for their duties. During two weeks of training in Chesapeake, Virginia, the Marines shared kit, knowledge, techniques and procedures to ensure they are at the cutting edge of their trade.
The exercise came to an intense end as the Marines put all the skills into practice on a final training mission, facing down a group attempting to sabotage vital national infrastructure. “We cordoned off the area so that our Recapture Tactics Team could clear through the building, dealing with occupants ranging from armed individuals to civilians working in the area,” added Marine Beckett.
The US Marines were drawn from the Kings Bay and Bangor Naval Bases, in Georgia and Washington respectively, where the USA’s own nuclear deterrence is based.
The first week was spent on the ranges where the US Marines Corps instructors introduced the UK Marines – from 43 Commando’s O Squadron – to their weapons systems, the M4A1 rifle and Sig M18 pistol. The week culminated in a competition shoot, which Royal Marines won 3-1, before downtime together in Virginia Beach and Washington DC.
The second week saw the training ramp up into studying complicated military doctrine for closed-quarters battle and using live ammunition in a shoot house – parlance for a building used for teaching/refining combat skills in a tight environment. The commandos worked on clearing stairways and rooms – with differing setups and obstacles to tackle.
“This massively improved our operational capability and let us put skills we had rehearsed while at HMNB Clyde into practice,” said Marine Beckett. “This is a type of training we don’t get to conduct while back in the UK, giving us a unique experience to take back home.”
The Squadron has since returned to the UK for immediate deployment on operational tasking and will help host the US to UK part of the exercise in the near future.
12 Sep 23. BAE Systems and Hadean renew collaboration to continue developing the future of military training. British scale-up, Hadean, and BAE Systems, are set to extend and expand their collaboration on the development of disruptive, next-generation digital technology for military training.
Under a new enterprise licence, BAE Systems will be able to exploit state-of-the-art AI and Large Language Model (LLM) integrations of the Hadean Platform for Defence. This will help to deliver scalable, interoperable, and immersive collective training solutions to military personnel across services, domains and allies, whilst also allowing investigation of wider applications.
The companies first signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at IT2EC 2022, agreeing to leverage Hadean’s robust spatial computing platform, as a vendor for novel software enabling technology, and explore new opportunities to provide bespoke simulation environments and scenarios.
From June 2022, Hadean showcased the ability of their cloud-native solutions to combine and expand various 2D, 3D, and Live, Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) elements of ground-based group training. This involved collecting data and instantly streaming training results in real-time.
By March 2023, Hadean’s platform was integrated with the wider BAE Systems ecosystem of partners to deliver Project OdySSEy – a single synthetic environment for multi-domain training, brought together by a consortium of expert SMEs in data analytics, AR and VR.
Hadean CEO, Craig Beddis, said: “Our collaboration with BAE Systems demonstrates the critical role agile and flexible SMEs like Hadean can play in unlocking possibilities for defence primes and accelerating the development of groundbreaking technologies. We’re excited to extend our close collaboration and work together to ensure our Armed Forces have the necessary training they need to meet the challenges of their operational environment, when they need, anywhere they need it – across services, allies, domains and classifications.”
Rob Merryweather, BAE Systems’ Technology Director, added: “Hadean brings its innovative cloud technology into the synthetic environments that we build to help train, wargame and simulate new capability across every military domain. By working with SMEs like Hadean, BAE Systems can help apply start-up technology in complex and highly secure military areas, which brings innovation to our customers more quickly whilst helping smaller companies work in the defence sector. We’re very much looking forward to renewing our collaboration.”
Find out more about Hadean’s role and the wider group of SMEs working in this area – come along to BAE Systems’ synthetic training panel on Wednesday, September 1300 – 1130. It will be on The Hub Stage, BAE Systems Stand (H3-110). Find out how BAE Systems is applying its expertise in military training with technology from a range of leading companies to develop next generation training for the military forces of tomorrow. The session will give you an overview of the companies involved, which specialise in simulation, spatial computing, data analytics and augmented and virtual reality to create a single synthetic environment, enabling air, land, sea, space and cyber forces to plug in and train together.
Hadean will also showcase its spatial computing platform at DSEI, stand H2-130, every day for the duration of the show at 11:30 and 15:30.