SURABAYA, Indonesia – Rear Adm. Jimmy Pitts, Commander, Submarine Group 7 (CSG7) and members of his staff met with Indonesian Navy representatives in Surabaya, Nov. 14, kicking off a week of relationship-building events that include staff talks, office calls and subject matter exchanges.
The U.S. Navy has had a robust relationship with the Tentera Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Laut (TNI-AL) or Indonesian Navy for decades. Not only are the U.S. and Indonesia the second- and third-largest democracies in the world; by many accounts, the TNI-AL is the largest navy in Southeast Asia, based on the number of active personnel and ships.
“As the crossroads to the Asia Pacific, Indonesia is one of the U.S. Navy’s oldest and most important partners,” said Pitts. “Their commitment to developing a submarine force to enhance their capabilities will contribute to our shared goal of maintaining peace and stability in the region.”
“These staff talks are a testament to the tremendous value that the U.S. Navy places on maintaining a strong relationship with the TNI,” said Cmdr. Randolph Reed, Submarine Group 7 Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Exercises & Engagement. “Our submariners have patrolled these waters for decades, and we are eager to share any lessons we’ve learned about submarine rescue, waterspace management, crew certification and training to help the TNI improve their capabilities in the undersea domain.”
During this week’s staff talks, personnel from both nations will exchange best practices on submarine force tactics and crisis response. For instance, there will be a table top Simulated Submarine Casualty Exercise or SMASHEX. A SMASHEX is designed to encompass elements of search, escape and rescue, and give participating navies insight on the measures and actions necessary in the unlikely event that a submarine finds itself in a distressed state. CSG 7, U.S. Navy Submarine Rescue Command, and International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office plan to work with the Indonesian navy on a simulated submarine rescue training.
Pitts will also take the opportunity to have office calls with Adm. Mintoro Yulianto, the TNI-AL 2nd Fleet Commander and TNI-AL Rear Adm. Muhammad Ali, Governor of the Indonesian Naval Academy, who is hosting the submarine staff talks.
Submarine Group 7 is comprised of submarines deployed to the Western Pacific, four fast-attack submarines homeported in Guam, and two submarine tenders, USS Frank Cable (AS 40) and USS Emory S. Land (AS 39), also homeported in Guam. It securely conducts persistent undersea warfare and anti-submarine warfare operations in the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility covering nearly half of the Earth's surface.