Maritime Partnerships: Indonesia & US Open a Joint Training Center in Batam

The US and the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (Baklama) have opened the Anambas Maritime Training Center (MTC) in Batam City, Riau Islands.1 The center is intended to provide training to Indonesian sailors to enhance Indonesia’s maritime capabilities and counter domestic and transnational crimes.2 Funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), the US$1.5 million training center represents the completion of the second phase of cooperation between the US and Indonesia.2

The center is intended for both Bakamla personnel and other ministries and institutions related to maritime security and will serve as a platform for collaboration between the two nations.1 The inauguration also included the initiation of a U.S.-led Small Boat Operator Instructor’s course, enhancing skills crucial for Indonesia’s safety and security within its waterways.2 The MTC’s opening aligns with a bilateral Work Plan on Maritime Security (November 2023) that utilizes INL capacity building assistance to enhance Indonesia’s maritime security and presence.2


Indonesia’s maritime security has previously been a topic of discussion, especially with the controversy of the South China Sea. Indeed, Indonesia’s Natuna Islands, whose EEZ is contradicted by China’s Nine Dash Line, place it on the forefront of China’s quest for control of the region.3 Furthermore, as Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, comprised of some 18,000 islands, the importance of developing its maritime security cannot be understated.3 Indonesia’s geographic location within the Indo-Pacific region makes it a crucial maritime hub, as its waters serve as key international shipping routes. Therefore, Indonesia’s maritime security is essential not only for its national interests but also for regional stability. With all three presidential candidates intending to strengthen Indonesia’s maritime sovereignty and security should they be elected, it is highly likely that further developments, and heavy usage of the MTC will arise in 2024 and beyond.3

[1] Bhwana, Petir Garda, (2024), “United States, Indonesia Inaugurate Maritime Training Center in Batam,” Tempo, January 29. Retrieved:

[2] US Embassy, (2024), “United States and Indonesia Celebrate the Opening of the “Anambas” Maritime Training Center in Batam,” US Embassy Jakarta, January 30. Retrieved: – :~:text=The MTC%27s opening follows the,awareness and at-sea enforcement.

[3] Bradford, John, and Kharisma, Waffaa, (2024), “The Maritime Implications of Indonesia’s Presidential Election,” The Diplomat, January 25. Retrieved:


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