ASEAN Launches First Joint Military Exercise Amidst Regional Challenges

ASEAN Commences First Joint Military Exercise in Indonesia and Myanmar

In a historic move, all 10 member countries of ASEAN, including Myanmar, have come together for their first joint military exercise, as reported by AFP and Reuters news agencies. This landmark initiative was launched on September 19 in the South Natuna Sea, despite Myanmar’s military junta being prohibited from participating in ASEAN gatherings. Since the junta’s seizure of power in 2021, Myanmar’s civilian government under Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has resorted to forceful measures to suppress dissent.

Known as the ASEAN Unity Exercise, this five-day military exercise primarily focuses on non-offensive activities such as humanitarian aid, disaster relief, rescue operations, and joint maritime patrols. Indonesia, which is currently hosting the exercise, shared these details. General Judo Marcono, Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces, expressed in an address to reporters on Batam Island, where the opening ceremony took place, that unity among the member nations can pave the way for regional stability to benefit the people. However, Marcono did not disclose the extent of Myanmar’s involvement in the exercises. An Indonesian military official, requesting anonymity, revealed that Myanmar’s participation would be limited to observing the exercises.

While multi-national joint military exercises have previously taken place among ASEAN member countries, this marks the first time that only ASEAN states are involved. The exercise occurs within the context of significant developments in the region, including the ongoing strife in Myanmar and disputes in the South China Sea. Consequently, the exercise’s location was relocated from the North Natuna Sea to the South Natuna Sea.

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ASEAN begins first joint military exercise in Indonesia and Myanmar.

AFP and Reuters news agencies reported that the armed forces of all 10 countries that are members of ASEAN Including Myanmar The first joint military exercise was launched on September 19 in the South Natuna Sea. from Indonesia Although ASEAN has banned Myanmar’s military junta from participating in gatherings of ASEAN members, Since seizing power in 2021, the civilian government of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has used force to crack down on dissent.

The exercise, called the ASEAN Unity Exercise, will last for five days, but will not include any offensive exercises. by members of various national armies participating in training exercises regarding humanitarian aid disaster relief rescue operation and joint maritime patrol According to reports from Indonesia, which is conducting this exercise.

General Judo Marcono, Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces to reporters on Batam Island. which was the venue for the opening ceremony of the joint military exercise, saying “With unity we can maintain stability in the region for the benefit of the people.” Marcono did not provide details on the extent to which Myanmar is participating in the exercises.An Indonesian military official, who asked not to be named, said: Myanmar will only participate in the exercises as an observer.

In fact, ASEAN member countries have previously held multi-national joint military exercises. But this is the first time that only ASEAN member states have participated in the exercise. And it happened amid important problems in the region, such as the turmoil in Myanmar and disputes in the South China Sea. This caused the area where the exercises would take place to be moved from the North Natuna Sea to the South Natuna Sea.

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