The Indonesian Coast Guard (Bakamla RI), and the Australian Border Force (ABF) led by Maritime Border Command (MBC) has successfully gathered representatives from 35 neighbouring countries to join the 10th Maritime Security Desktop Exercise (MSDE).
The four-day event commenced on Tuesday (15/6/2021) in Jakarta. It combines offline and online participation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and involves members of HACGAM (Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting) and IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association). The participating countries are Indonesia, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Comoros, India, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, and Yemen.
This four-day event aims to develop regional maritime security officers’ understanding and capabilities in combating various maritime security incidents according to prevailing international law.
Rear Admiral Tatit E. Witjaksono S.E., M.Tr.(Han), Deputy of Policy and Strategy, attended the opening ceremony on Tuesday to represent the Chief of Bakamla, VADM Aan Kurnia S.Sos., M.M. The opening speech highlighted various maritime and security threats that occur in the region, increased trade and how the state’s reliance on marine resources has caused more problems in regional waters. RADM Tatit emphasised that “comprehensive cooperation from all coastal countries in the region is essential in handling this issue”.
Commander Maritime Border Command, Rear Admiral Mark Hill, CSC RAN formally opened the MSDE.
“The Maritime Security Desktop Exercise contributes to the goal of bringing together operational officers across a range of levels from HACGAM and IORA countries” RADM Hill said.
“Participants will not only have the opportunity to discuss and participate in topical and practical civil maritime security scenarios but will also be able to make long and enduring professional relationships with like-minded colleagues in our region and beyond”.
During the program, the participants will be grouped into smaller syndicates to discuss the provided materials and presentations. The event incorporates the syndicate discussions, group presentations and desktop exercises.
The MSDE will be facilitated by subject matter expert from the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) at the University of Wollongong, Prof. Stuart Kaye, the Vice Dean of Padjajaran University’s Faculty of Law, Gusman Catur Siswandi, Ph.D., and Bakamla’s Head of International Law and Legislation Sub-Directorate, COL. Hudiansyah Is Nursal, S.H., M.I.L.I.R.,
Bakamla RI and the Australian Government through MBC took the initiative to develop a regional understanding of international maritime law application, with one intitive in place since 2009. There has been an increase in regional understanding of the international law of the sea as a result of nine previous MSDEs. A better regional prevention effort, law enforcement activities at sea, and stronger cooperation among maritime law enforcement agencies within the region also contribute to the MSDE’s success.
About Australian Border Force and Maritime Border Command
The Australian Border Force (ABF) is Australia’s frontline border law enforcement agency and customs service. Maritime Border Command is a multi-agency task force within the ABF that is enabled by ABF and Australian Defence Force (ADF) assets and resources to implement a Whole-of-Australian-Government effort, at the operational level, to protect civil maritime security interests through the provision of effects in the Australian maritime domain.
ABF maintains Australia’s sovereignty over its borders to ensure it can detect and respond to a range of concurrent security challenges, including illicit trade, unauthorised maritime arrivals, and illegal fishing and other regionally dispersed security threats over the full extent of Australia’s air, maritime and terrestrial domains.
About Bakamla RI:
The Indonesian Coast Guard (Bakamla) was established according to Law number 32 of 2014 on Maritime Affairs. The law mandates Bakamla to conduct safety and security patrols within Indonesian territorial waters. The law also mandates the agency to secure, observe, and to prevent illegal activities within Indonesia’s maritime jurisdiction, and also to assist with Search and Rescue and other duties within the national defence system.
Bakamla is committed to safeguard Indonesian territorial waters. The agency is supported by numerous maritime assets, maritime regional offices and fleet bases that are spread along 3 Indonesian archipelagic sea lanes, and also by Safety and Security Monitoring Stations throughout Indonesia.