Demonstrating Small Boat Tactics in Indonesia

Wednesday, July 27, 2005
SURABAYA, Indonesia (NNS) -- Sailors from Mobile Security Squadron (MSS) 7, Det. 72, demonstrated U.S. Navy small boat tactics to the Indonesian Navy’s Kopaska Pasukan Katak (Frogman Force) here July 22 as part of a series of events for MSS 7 and their counterparts prior to the Indonesia phase of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT).

The small boat tactics demonstration consisted of classroom lectures followed by hands-on demonstrations in two rigid hulled inflatable boats (RHIB).

Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SW) Nathan Ryan and Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class (SW) Christopher White opened the classroom session with a brief on boat maneuvers, which included techniques for clearing choke points and setting security zones with small boats. Chief Master-at-Arms (DV/PJ) Jeffrey Evanchak followed with a discussion of procedures for detecting improvised explosive devices and general security practices.

On the pier, the group split into four teams, each with members of the U.S. Navy and the Indonesian navy. The first two teams boarded the RHIBs and headed out into the open water, where they displayed the techniques they had gone over earlier that morning. The groups took turns playing the role of a contact of interest, or enemy, while the other tried to defend a high value asset, which could be a ship.

Over several days, MSS 7 Sailors worked with their counterparts from Kopaska and the Indonesian Military Police, discussing general security and force protection procedures, as well as the management of vehicle and entry control points. Kopaska Sailors also demonstrated their techniques for boarding vessels.

During the small boat tactics lectures that kicked off this first day of interaction with Kopaska, the Sailors began generally separated from one another, but throughout the breaks they began to open up and talk, getting to know each other.

“You can relate a lot easier when you know what someone has been through,” said Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Michael Natrop. “We have a lot in common.”

Throughout the various lectures and demonstrations, the Sailors shared their experiences and expertise on security-related issues, with the help of several interpreters when necessary.

“Sometimes they have better ideas and sometimes we have better ideas,” learned Master-at-Arms Seaman Christopher Hauser. “There is more than one way to do things, and sharing ideas helps us all to find what works best.”

The Sailors from both navies said there was value in this type of military-to-military interaction.

“You learn new things plus reinforce things you already know,” said First Lt. Berny of the Indonesian navy, who took part in the small boat tactics demonstration. “It always helps to go over basic fundamentals and build experience.”

Hauser viewed the experience from a strategic perspective.

“There may be times when we have to rely on them and they will have to rely on us,” he said, “So having a good working relationship is important.”

CARAT is a regularly scheduled series of bilateral military training exercises with several Southeast Asia nations designed to enhance interoperability of the respective sea services.

Guam-based MSS 7, whose mission is to provide high level security to naval assets throughout the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, has worked with counterparts the week prior to each CARAT phase this year; Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia to date.

By Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Laura Heinkel, Logistics Group Western Pacific Public Affairs

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