UN Indonesian troops completed training on Australian army Thales Bushmaster armored vehicles


A group of twenty-five soldiers from the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) Peacekeeping Centre proudly assembled for a parade at the Gary Holmes Centre, located at 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (5RAR), after successfully completing an extensive training program on the Thales Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle (PMV).
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During the training, two of the PMVs were already adorned with the internationally recognizable United Nations livery (Picture source: Aus DoD)


The announcement of this initiative was made in 2021, and in April, the Indonesian Parliament officially accepted the donation of fifteen Bushmaster PMVs. Shortly thereafter, TNI soldiers arrived in Darwin to commence a comprehensive training course on these patrol vehicles. The training, facilitated by Thales Digital Systems, encompassed fundamental operations, challenging 4x4 maneuvers, vehicle maintenance, and the use of communication equipment.

Major Matt Breckenridge, who was assigned to the TNI Peacekeeping Centre, oversaw the Bushmaster training in Darwin. The training program began with students familiarizing themselves with the vehicle simulator, where they acquired essential knowledge about PMV operation before progressing to practical exercises in the actual vehicles. The soldiers then ventured into the training area, where they tackled complex terrains and water crossings.

Additionally, the TNI soldiers received instruction on the maintenance and basic servicing of the Bushmaster. Interpreters were present to provide translations, as the selection criteria for TNI students were based on their mechanical proficiency rather than their English language skills. This approach allowed for more in-depth training on maintenance techniques and advanced problem-solving.

"The objective was to equip these soldiers with the necessary skills to operate and maintain the vehicles and associated communication equipment in challenging environments," explained Major Breckenridge. "The Bushmaster is particularly well-suited for missions that involve a heightened risk of ambush, mines, or improvised explosive devices, which are commonly encountered during TNI peacekeeping operations."

Major Breckenridge highlighted that the TNI ranked as the seventh largest contributor to global peacekeeping operations in terms of personnel and equipment, with over 2500 members deployed at any given time.

During the training, two of the PMVs were already adorned with the internationally recognizable United Nations livery, serving as a meaningful reminder of the important work being undertaken. "We take great pride in supporting the TNI in developing their peacekeeping capabilities," Major Breckenridge expressed.

The training also emphasized the significance of fostering integration and Indo-Pacific partnerships, aligning with the priorities outlined in the Defence Strategic Review. The TNI soldiers had the opportunity to experience the Top End region while building relationships with their hosts at 5RAR.


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The Indonesian soldiers then ventured into the training area, where they tackled complex terrains and water crossings (Picture source: Aus DoD)


Defense News July 2023