The Future of Indonesia’s Coast Guard: Aided by the U.S. Coast Guard and USCGC FORWARD

DSC_0305eU.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Joseph Sundland, the commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Forward, talks with Indonesian coast guard Adm. Yuli Dharmawanto aboard the forward Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. The crew of the Forward is homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia, and hosted a delegation of Indonesian coast guard officials in order to assist in strengthening the coast guard in Indonesia.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seamen Apprentice Benjamin Moody



The Future of Indonesia’s Coast Guard:
Aided by the U.S. Coast Guard and USCGC FORWARD

Written by Ensign Christian Brindamour

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Forward was honored to host senior officials from the Indonesian government for a tour around the ship Sept 1.  The tour was given in order to help the delegates expand their nation’s maritime capabilities.

Adm. Dharmawanto, Adm. Royani and a host of other senior ranking staff members from the Indonesian government were excited at the chance to come aboard cutter Forward in order to utilize the ship as a potential model for developing a future fleet for the Indonesian coast guard. As members of the delegation approached the brow of the ship, they delighted at the sight of their nation’s flag dancing in the breeze, displayed prominently on cutter Forward’s starboard yardarm. The questions about various cutter specifications quickly picked up as the delegation made their way to the flight deck. After an extended tea and coffee break in the wardroom involving a question and answer session, the delegates were provided a tour of the cutter’s bridge, officer and non-rate birthing areas and mess deck.

Members from the delegation will provide input to their nation’s government in order to contribute to the establishment of a capable Indonesian coast guard similar to what the U.S. established 225 years ago. For Indonesia, this will involve the consolidation of 12 different governmental agencies who are all plagued by the complexities of overlapping missions, jurisdictions and roles throughout their competing fields of operation. Cutter Forward was fortunate to capitalize on meeting the needs of the delegates by giving them a vision of how the U.S. Coast Guard operates while also offering the various capabilities of Coast Guard cutters as a potential model for the construction of future Indonesian vessels.  Information regarding ship’s systems, space and crew requirements, bridge equipment and hotel services were all discussed during the tour.

An opportunity to host high ranking members of a foreign government was not only a chance for the Coast Guard to help strengthen its international ties, it was also a prime example of the Coast Guard exercising its global influence to contribute to the international maritime security community at large.  While the delegates’ visit lasted roughly an hour, the impact and long-term effects it could have on oceanic safety and security throughout Southeast Asia may be felt for decades to come.