The Jakarta Post
A special team, mostly consisting of Indonesian armed forces personnel, known as the Garuda Task Force, has returned to Indonesia after helping to fight recent bushfires in Australia, the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra stated on Wednesday.
“True friends not only help with words, but with real actions,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Garraway, the commander of New South Wales under Joint Task Force (JTF) 1110, as quoted by antaranews.com on Wednesday.
Garraway was repeating a message from Lt. Col. Renee Kidson from the Australian Defense Force (ADF) during a farewell ceremony at the Australian Air Force Base Richmond in New South Wales, Australia. The message was conveyed as a form of appreciation for the Garuda task force for aiding Australia in the Bushfires Assistance Operation.
Indonesian Ambassador to Australia Kristiarto Legowo has handed over 41 certificates of merit to members of the Indonesian Military and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) as a token of appreciation for their dedication.
The task force assisted the Australian government in clearing roads and train tracks, cleaning up the aftermath of the fires as well as reconstructing sanitary facilities around residents’ homes for one month.
Garuda Task Force commander Lt. Col. Fauzi said he felt honored to be able to lead the task force.
Previously, on Feb. 1, the Australian government sent its deepest regards to Indonesia for aiding the country by sending the task force to fight against the bushfires.
The team consisted of 41 Indonesian Military personnel, two officers of the Foreign Ministry and an officer of the BNPB, according to kompas.com.
As neighboring countries, Indonesia and Australia maintain a close relationship as comprehensive strategic partners, with a pact announced during Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s visit to Indonesia in August 2018. (dpk)