The Indonesian Armed Forces has deployed personnel to work alongside the Australian Defence Force as part of Operation Bushfire Assist.

A contingent of 38 Indonesian National Armed Forces (Tentara Nasional Indonesia) personnel arrived at RAAF Base Richmond on February 2.

The Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) personnel will work alongside ADF elements from Army’s 5th Brigade as part of a joint engineering element deployed to New South Wales under Joint Task Force (JTF) 1110.

Together they will assist state authorities to reopen roads and restore essential services to affected communities in the Blue Mountains area.

The TNI contingent includes two medics and 36 engineers, specialising in airfield equipment and chainsaw operations.

The Ambassador for Indonesia, Yohanes Kristiarto Soeryo Legowo, greeted personnel as they arrived at RAAF Base Richmond.

“This is the real manifestation of the true friendship that exists between Indonesia and Australia.”

“We never forget what Australia has done for Indonesia,” Mr Legowo said.

“This is the real manifestation of the true friendship that exists between Indonesia and Australia.”

The command of TNI soldiers was ceremoniously handed over to Commander JTF 1110 Brigadier Michael Garraway who welcomed Indonesia’s generous offer of support.

“Fifteen per cent of the state of New South Wales has been destroyed by fires and there is still much work to be done. We are very pleased to have the TNI soldiers come and give us a hand,” Brigadier Garraway said.

“The TNI and ADF will work together clearing roads and removing large amounts of fire debris, as well as performing other vital relief functions.”

The ADF-TNI relationship is long-standing and enduring. We continue to build strong connections through a wide range of cooperation activities, including senior leadership engagement, education and training, and regular exercises.