RAAF teams up with Indonesia for maritime surveillance

A TNI-AU Boeing 737 maritime patrol aircraft departs RAAF Base Darwin in the Northern Territory for an Ex Albatross Ausindo 23 mission. Photo: SGT Pete Gammie.

Royal Australian Air Force personnel have partnered with Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara to conduct maritime surveillance missions near Darwin.

Personnel from RAAF No. 11 Squadron and their five squadron counterparts took part in the Exercise Albatross AusIndo, one of three annual training exercises the RAAF conducts with the Indonesian Air Force.

The training 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 No. 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 neighbouring areas, and passed any contacts we came across between both air assets,” FLTLT Kaur said.

Officer Commanding 92 Wing Group Captain Paul Carpenter said during the exercise, which finished on 24 May, that the opportunity to train together during 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,” GPCAPT Carpenter said.


Commanding Officer No. 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.