[ETAN-key] Hawaii ties with Indonesia growing
John M Miller
fbp at igc.org
Sat Jan 26 07:25:31 PST 2008
Posted on: Friday, January 25, 2008
Isle ties with Indonesia growing
By <mailto:wcole at honoluluadvertiser.com>William Cole
Advertiser Military Writer
National Guard Bureau Chief Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum said yesterday
that a program linking state Guard troops with other countries is
growing and that partnerships with Pacific nations could be crucial.
Hawai'i National Guard soldiers will participate in a military
exercise in Indonesia in April, the Southeast Asian nation will take
part in a hurricane exercise here in March, and Indonesian
noncommissioned and junior officers may train at Hawai'i National
The military-to-military engagement is part of Hawai'i's emerging
relationship with the world's largest Muslim country, and stems from
the National Guard Bureau's efforts to link U.S. states with foreign countries.
Only four of the National Guard Bureau's 58 state partnership
programs are in the Pacific, but that number is expected to grow,
Army Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard, said yesterday.
Speaking at the end of a two-day workshop in Hawai'i, Blum said a new
partnership had been established between Bangladesh and Oregon, and
he expects as many as five new partner nations in the next two years.
"The partnerships in the Pacific may be, in the long term, the most
important that we have," Blum said, citing the region's increasing
importance to global issues and economies.
Blum made his comments at the inaugural Pacific state partnership
workshop, held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
The National Guard state adjutant generals from Hawai'i, Alaska and
Washington state held a news conference with defense chiefs from
Indonesia, Thailand, Mongolia and the Philippines.
Hawai'i established the relationship with Indonesia last year, and in
June Gov. Linda Lingle traveled to Jakarta. Hawai'i and Guam also
have partnerships with the Philippines.
Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee, who heads the Hawai'i National Guard,
yesterday said his soldiers will again participate in the Indonesian
exercise Garuda Shield in April.
That will be followed by Indonesian military and civilian personnel
traveling to Hawai'i in March for an annual hurricane exercise. Both
exchanges will involve "small numbers" of personnel, he said.
Lee also said Brig. Gen. Erwin Barley, the Indonesian defense attache
to the U.S., wanted non-commissioned and junior officers to train at
the Guard's "warrior training center," and that the U.S. Pacific
Command authorized the exchange.
About 80 U.S. soldiers, including some Hawai'i Guard soldiers, flew
to Indonesia last April for Garuda Shield in a resumption of
brigade-level, army-to-army training.
U.S. military ties with Indonesia were cut by the Clinton
administration in 1999 over human rights concerns. The Bush
administration restored full military relations with Indonesia in 2005.
The state partnership program was started in the early 1990s.
Blum said National Guard troops are effective because "they bring not
only very, very fine military skills to the partnership, but each and
every one of these citizen soldiers brings in civilian experience,
civilian-acquired skills ... and the ability to interact with other people."
Reach William Cole at
<mailto:wcole at honoluluadvertiser.com>wcole at honoluluadvertiser.com.
ETAN welcomes your financial support. For more info:
John M. Miller Internet: fbp at igc.org
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: (718)596-7668 Fax: (718)222-4097
Mobile phone: (917)690-4391 Skype: john.m.miller
Web site: http://www.etan.org
Send a blank e-mail message to info at etan.org to find out
how to learn more about East Timor on the Internet
More information about the ETAN-Key