MRF-D partners with Australian Defense Force and Tentara Nasional Indonesia to exercise humanitarian assistance cooperation in the Indo-Pacific

Marine Rotational Force-Darwin participated in Exercise CROCODILE RESPONSE 22, a trilateral humanitarian assistance exercise featuring Marines and sailors with MRF-D, members of the Australian Defense Force and personnel from the Indonesian National Armed Forces , as well as multiple civil organizations and active from May 9 – May 20.

CROCODILE RESPONSE 22 featured participation in the exercise by TNI personnel, a welcome addition to the event as TNI and other Indonesian organizations consistently lead HA operations around the Indo-Pacific.

“The TNI headquarters sent 35 of its best soldiers to participate in the joint exercise,” said Lt. Rudy Hernawan, public affairs officer for the TNI contingent. “In addition to the military, the exercise involved several non-governmental civilian institutions to participate in the exercise.”

Led by Northern Command Headquarters here in Australia’s Northern Territory, the exercise design incorporated real-world disaster scenarios to push the combined exercise force into a crisis response posture . Using both local locations in Darwin and Nhulunbuy Township, CROCODILE RESPONSE 22 challenged the MRF-D, ADF and TNI contingent to provide humanitarian assistance in response to a simulated tropical cyclone.

“Exercise CROCODILE RESPONSE 22 was designed to provide an opportunity for Australia, the United States and Indonesia to practice a partnership response to a humanitarian crisis.” ADF senior planner Captain Pietro Ruggeri

“By bringing together military and civilian organizations from each nation, we have been able to establish the processes and relationships to better assist our comrades in the region. I believe the exercise provided commanders, personnel, soldiers and Marines with the experience they need to understand their role in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations,” the planner said. principal of the ADF, Captain Pietro Ruggeri.

The exercise was divided into three parts over a period of nearly two weeks.

The early days consisted of academic instruction, where the most experienced HA professionals, including the United States Bureau for Humanitarian Aid, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Indonesian search and rescue team BASARNAS , briefed the exercise force on HA best practices. and procedures.

The next phase was a table-top exercise, where the exercise force turned academic information into action through a series of events and planning scenarios to better understand HA operations. This phase featured cooperation between USMC, ADF, and TNI personnel embedded in each other’s planning cells to better combine the efforts of the entire contingent.

“The Indo-Pacific requires extensive logistics planning to execute HA operations due to the long ranges and significant transport over water,” noted MRF-D Logistics Commander Maj. Stephanie Hebda. “The MRF-D MAGTF offers enormous logistical flexibility, but the addition of ADF, TNI and our civilian partners greatly increases our ability to provide support to the region.”

The final phase of the exercise, the field training exercise, involved the Australian, Indonesian and US contingents transporting personnel, equipment and resources from Darwin to Nhulunbuy, approximately 340 nautical miles east. east of the capital of the Northern Territory. This effort was to support the simulated population with food and water, shelter, and protection after the fictional natural disaster.

launches the corporal. Tristan McClain, a motor transport operator with Combat Logistics Battalion 5, emphasized the great learning opportunity the CROCODILE RESPONSE has offered Marines while working with partnered forces.

“Being surrounded by different forces teaches you a lot. We wondered about HA’s equipment and supply process. We’re quite similar, but we each have our own slang and sharing it was a lot of fun.

Humanitarian assistance is a priority competence of the MRF-D. Including neighboring nations, the Indo-Pacific theater is home to almost half of the world’s population and is the target of approximately 70% of natural disasters worldwide. The ability of the MRF-D to provide rapid support in response to a natural disaster is an important means for the MAGTF to support the Indo-Pacific region.

“It has been a tremendous experience working and planning alongside our partners ADF, TNI and civilian organizations to build and complete Exercise CROCODILE RESPONSE 22,” said Major Bret Waters, Deputy Operations Officer for MRF- D, who served as America’s lead planner. “The MRF-D has learned a tremendous amount from our partner forces in the area of ​​humanitarian assistance, and we are now better positioned to support crisis response throughout the region.”

In addition to the exercise’s trilateral cooperation, CROCODILE RESPONSE 22 introduced a joint aspect to HA efforts. The U.S. 7th Fleet’s USS ASHLAND, a Whidbey Island-class berth landing ship, joined the exercise force this year to enhance expeditionary HA capabilities from the sea and demonstrate the U.S. Navy’s ability to sustain the American allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific. Alongside USS ASHLAND, an ADF mechanized landing craft performed ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship transport duties in support of CROCODILE RESPONSE.

For questions regarding this story, please contact the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin media inquiries email address at [email protected] The images of this rotation and the previous ones are available on