Peacekeeping Operations Center Ribbon Cutting
SENTUL, Indonesia -- A new barracks and training facility at the Indonesian Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) Center here is expected to boost United Nations' peacekeeping efforts worldwide.
The facility was constructed under the auspices of the Global Peacekeeping Operation Initiative, according to Maj. Gen. Gary Hara, Deputy Commanding General for the Army National Guard, U.S. Army Pacific, who spoke at the facility ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony on June 7. The GPOI is a U.S. Government security assistance program.
"This impressive facility will significantly enhance the quantity and quality of training for future Indonesian Peacekeepers," Hara said. "We are especially proud of our efforts to assist Indonesia in building the barracks for this important training facility."
The GPOI program improves partners' ability to train and sustain peacekeepers, increases the pool of deployable police and troops and improves the preparation, logistical support, and deployment of military and police units to international peacekeeping operations, Hara explained.
"To date, the GPOI program has played a critical role in training nearly 200,000 peacekeepers," Hara said. "Direct training is responsible for more than 153,000 peacekeepers and the program has enabled the training of more than 43,000 additional peacekeepers. This is truly an astonishing total and a significant contribution towards assisting partner country efforts to build sustainable, indigenous peacekeeping training capacity."
The new facility is the first of two, Hara said, and the second one is projected to be finished in 2014.
"Over the next year we look forward to continuing our assistance through the second barracks project, providing heavy construction equipment and vehicles for training, additional PKO training aids, and enhanced English language support to the Indonesian PKO Center," he said. "The value of our mutual training efforts will translate directly when graduates of this impressive facility are better able to successful negotiate the myriad of challenges they are sure to face during real-world UN Peacekeeping Operations."
The PKO, which is part of the larger, seven-in-one Indonesian Peace and Security Center, is projected to be fully mission capable in 2014, Hara said. He stressed that Indonesia's creation of the Peace and Security Center shows its commitment to peacekeeping missions.
"Indonesia has an impressive record of serving with distinction in United Nation missions for over 50 years," he said.
In addition to speaking at the ceremony, Hara is acting as the co-director of Garuda Shield 2013, a regularly-scheduled, bilateral exercise sponsored by U.S. Army, Pacific and hosted annually by the Indonesian Armed Forces. The exercise is taking place in and around Cilodong, Depok Indonesia from 10-21 June, 2013 and Hara said it's the latest in a continuing series of exercises designed to strengthen military-to-military cooperation while focusing on international peace support operations.
The exercise includes a field training exercise focusing on rescue operations and will include roughly 200 American and 300 Indonesia paratroopers participating in field training, performing fundamental infantry skills and airborne operations. Though this is the seventh iteration of this bilateral exercise, it's the first time the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers and the Tentara Nasional Indonesia will make a series of combined jumps using both TNI and U.S. aircraft.