Defence Resumption of SASR and Kopassus Exercises Media Release 2005

MEDIA RELEASE

SENATOR THE HON ROBERT HILL
Minister for Defence Leader of the Government in the Senate
_______________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday 11 December, 2005

198/2005

AUSTRALIAN AND INDONESIAN SPECIAL FORCES BEGIN EXERCISES
Counter-terrorism exercises between Australian and Indonesian Special Forces will resume early next year to further strengthen the region’s ability to tackle terrorism, Defence Minister Robert Hill announced today. Senator Hill said Exercise Dawn Kookaburra will be conducted in Perth and will be a combined counter-hijack and hostage recovery exercise. The two-week exercise will involve Australia’s Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) and Indonesia's Armed Forces (TNI) specialist counter-terrorism unit, Kopassus Unit 81. “In this era of heightened terrorist threats, it is in Australia’s interests to engage with regional Special Forces, such as Kopassus, to safeguard the lives of Australians and Australian interests abroad,” Senator Hill said. “The bombings in Bali in October 2005 further highlighted the need for regional countries to work together in combating this common threat. “Kopassus Unit 81 has the most effective capability to respond to a counterhijack or hostage recovery threat in Indonesia. “In the event of a terrorist incident, the safety of Australians in Indonesia could well rest on effective cooperation between TNI and the ADF,” Senator Hill said. The exercise will focus the skills required to conduct counter-hijack and hostage recovery operations. This will include related training and exercise scenarios. This combined exercise is part of the Australian Government’s counter-terrorism strategy, which aims to develop training and exercise opportunities with Indonesia’s counter-terrorism forces. The last similar training exercise took place between the two countries in 1997. Other activities include senior and working level visits, subject matter exchanges, sharing information and attendance at conferences.

Media contacts Sascha Meldrum Defence Liaison Media

(Senator Hill)

08 7920 02 3343

8237 0409 241 6265 0408 664

034 498

www.defence.gov.au

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