United States and Indonesia Hold Inaugural Keris Marine Exercise in Lampung

Indonesian Marine Corps 1st Lt. Ketut Yoga Kosala, left, a platoon commander with 7th Infantry Battalion, 4th Marine Brigade, and U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Patrick Nazeck, the combat engineer and explosive ordnance disposal officer-in-charge with Marine Rotational Force-Southeast Asia, I Marine Expe

JAKARTA – Marine forces from the U.S. Military and Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) are holding the Keris Marine Exercise (MAREX) from November 11-25, 2022, at Piabung training area, in Pesawaran Regency, Lampung, Indonesia.

The inaugural Keris MAREX bilateral exercise, led by the U.S. Marine Corps and Korps Marinir Republik Indonesia (KORMAR), promotes military interoperability and maritime domain awareness capabilities, strengthens relationships, and expands capabilities among participating forces.

Throughout this year’s Keris MAREX, approximately 180 U.S. Marines from the Marine Rotational Force-Southeast Asia (MRF-SEA) force and 260 KORMAR Marines from the 7th Marine Battalion have trained closely together. The exercise activities are focused on increasing combined capabilities for coastal defense, joint fires, rocket artillery, small unmanned aerial systems, and cultural and community engagements.

U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Jonathan Wagner, the operations officer for Marine Rotational Force-Southeast Asia, I Marine Expeditionary Force, places an armband on Indonesian 1st Lt. Ketut Yoga Kosala, a platoon leader with 7th Infantry Battalion, 4th Marine Brigade, during the Keris Marine Exercise (

“Keris MAREX 23 enables MRF-SEA to develop bilateral problem-solving techniques and forges bonds of friendship between Americans and Indonesians,” said Capt. Larry Boyd, the MRF-SEA Communication Strategy and Operations Director. “Most importantly, though, in today’s environment, when the world sometimes seems to be facing one crisis after another, exercises like Keris MAREX 23 have become increasingly important. This exercise highlights the strength and stability of the U.S.-Indonesia relationship and promotes a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.”

The exercise includes a variety of training evolutions such as patrolling, close-quarters battle and ambushing, unmanned aircraft systems employment, sensor to strike, tactical combat casualty care, and explosive ordnance disposal.  Exchanges of various functional areas include joint planning, expeditionary advanced basing operations, joint planning operations, and small boat operations. The exercise will culminate with a mission rehearsal to increase interoperability and display emerging maritime domain awareness capabilities.

Indonesian marines with 7th Infantry Battalion, 4th Marine Brigade, and U.S. service members with Marine Rotational Force-Southeast Asia, I Marine Expeditionary Force pose for a group photo after a beach cleanup during Keris Marine Exercise (MAREX) 2022, at Mahitam Beach in Bandar Lampung, Lampung,