BATAM – U.S. Charge d’affaires a.i. (CDA) Michael F. Kleine and Head of the Republic of Indonesia’s Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla), Vice Admiral TNI Dr. Irvansyah, S.H., M.Tr.Opsla., presided over the official opening ceremony and inauguration of the Bakamla’s “Anambas” Maritime Training Center (MTC).
“Today marks an important achievement in U.S.-Indonesian maritime cooperation. Four years since our initial groundbreaking, this new center will strengthen Indonesia’s maritime capabilities and enhance its role as a leader in countering domestic and transnational crimes,” said CDA Kleine.
In his remarks, the Head of Bakamla Vice Admiral TNI Dr. Irvansyah, S.H., M.Tr.Opsla. said that in the ocean of friendship between the United States and Indonesia, the “Anambas” Maritime Training Center in Batam was a historic milestone. “Together, we will not only provide training for sailors, but also strengthen relationship between countries and strengthen ties that encourage maritime progress and security for a safe and prosperous future,” he said.
Funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), the $1.5 million MTC represents the completion of the second phase of cooperation in Batam. The fully equipped center includes six classrooms, a conference room, and offices.
Previously, phase I construction was completed in June 2022, and included more than $700,000 for the construction of a dining facility and male and female barracks for up to fifty students and twelve instructors. Phase I was funded by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s Joint Interagency Task Force West. Both phases came with the support of the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command.
Continuing the MTC Inauguration procession, CDA Kleine and Vice Admiral TNI Dr. Irvansyah pressed the siren button to mark the official opening of operations for the Maritime Training Center. The two also toured the Maritime Training Center facilities.
After its inauguration, sixteen BAKAMLA personnel became the center’s first students as they began a U.S. sponsored Small Boat Operator Instructor’s course as the center opened. The two-week course, facilitated by the U.S. Coast Guard, will prepare BAKLAMA instructors to conduct the Small Boat Operator’s course for BAKAMLA personnel in the future. Enhancing these skills will improve Indonesia’s ability to ensure safety and security within the Archipelago’s vital waterways.
The MTC’s opening follows the November 8, 2023 signing of a bilateral Work Plan on Maritime Security aimed at directing INL capacity building assistance to further enhance Indonesia’s maritime domain awareness and at-sea enforcement.