Force Protection Detachment – Indonesia


Setting the Standard for Security in the Ring of Fire.
By Scott M. Bernat.

Force Protection Detachment (FPD) Indonesia, led by the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), is the front line of defence for all U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) forces visiting and training in Indonesia. Situated within the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, so designated due to the area’s significant number of active volcanoes and earthquakes, Indonesia is comprised of over 17,500 islands and a population of nearly 240 million people, making it the fourth most populous nation in the world.

Islam is the dominant religion. The country’s motto, “Unity in Diversity,”reflects its diverse ethnic, linguistic and cultural character. The nation’s dynamic landscape, which includes an active terrorist threat, a spate of natural disasters, public integrity issues, public unrest and more, represents a significant challenge to the safety and security of in-transit DoD personnel. FPD Indonesia has met and exceeded the challenge, setting the standard for security programs in the Asia Pacific Region.

The Beginning –

The terrorist attack on the USS Cole (DDG-67) in the Port of Aden, Yemen on 12 October 2000 identified the need for increased security  support for in-transit DoD personnel and assets in overseas locations with no permanent DoD security presence. The USS Cole Commission, charged with investigating the circumstances leading to the attack, highlighted this need and the overall FPD program was initiated.

The primary mission of the FPD is to detect and  warn of threats to in-transit DoD personnel and resources, as well as to act as a “force protection, force multiplier” for the American Embassy Country Team in each designated overseas location. This includes working  losely with Host Nation security forces for threat warning and security.

Other missions include providing routine DoD counterintelligence (CI) and force protection services to the Country Team, criminal and counterterrorism (CT) investigative response as well as surge capabilities in the event of crises and/or contingencies. There are currently thirty-eight (38) FPD offices worldwide, with additional offices planned.

FPD Indonesia

Situated within the American Embassy Jakarta, FPD Indonesia began full operations in 2009. A component of the NCIS Singapore Field Office, it is staffed by an NCIS Resident Agent in Charge, a U.S. Army (USA) Special Agentand an Office Management Assistant.

In close coordination with the American Embassy Regional Security Office (RSO), Defence Attaché Office (DAO) and Office of Defence Cooperation (ODC), the FPD is the Embassy’s authority for developing, coordinating and overseeing force protection information and security for more than 140 events per year, including U.S. military exercises, aircraft and ship visits, Flag/General Officer visits, and other engagements.

These efforts not only support U.S. interests, but also significantly increase the overall security of both the Indonesian and international communities. Through close cooperation with and assistance from the Indonesian military (Tentara National Indonesia (TNI)) and the  Indonesian National Police (INP), FPD Indonesia activities focus on threat awareness and mitigation, physical security, risk assessments and vulnerability studies, emergency preparedness, crisis action planning and response, executive protection and investigations.

The FPD is augmented by NCIS, U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), USA and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) force protection-focused personnel and teams as individual service component requirements arise.

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