US, Indonesia air forces strengthen partnership during tactical exercise

HALIM AIR BASE, Indonesia (AFNS) — Approximately 80 U.S. and 75 Indonesian airmen will participate in exercise Cope West 2012 here June 25 – 29.
Cope West is a bilateral, tactical airlift exercise designed to advance interoperability between the two partner air forces.

Lt. Col. Rick Richard and Indonesian air force Col. Ardhi Tjahjoko shake hands after the opening ceremony for Cope West 2012 at Halim Air Base, Indonesia, June 25, 2012. Three C-130 Hercules and 80 Airmen from Yokota Air Base, Japan, and one C-130 and 75 airmen from the Indonesian air force will participate in Cope West 12, a bilateral, tactical airlift exercise involving the U.S. and Indonesian air forces. Richard is the detachment commander and Tjahjoko is the 1st Wing commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Victoria Meyer)
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The exercise will allow U.S. and Indonesian airmen to exchange techniques related to airlift, air-land and airdrop delivery specific to both air forces‘ aircraft to promote regional stability through cooperation and unity of purpose.

„We are honored that the Indonesian government invited us to be a part of this exercise,“ said Capt. John Chrampanis, the mission commander for Cope West 12. „We hope all the months of planning leading up to today result in a successful and safe exercise as we advance our partnership between the U.S. and Indonesian air forces.“

Exercise Cope West enhances combined readiness and interoperability, reinforces the U.S. commitment to the Pacific, and demonstrates U.S. capability to conduct tactical airlift operations in a bilateral environment.

„We are looking forward to exchanging knowledge and experiences and sharing information,“ said Indonesian air force Captain Dion Aridito, the Cope West staff operations officer. „But most importantly, making friends. It is also a little bit of a friendly competition between our crews and the U.S. crews to see who can get closer to the target on the drop zone. I think the competition helps everyone improve their skills.“

This friendly competition developed over the years as this is not the first time Indonesian airmen have worked alongside American Airmen in this environment.

Aircraft participating in Cope West 12 include three C-130 Hercules from the 374th Airlift Wing, Yokota AB, Japan, and one C-130 from the Indonesian air force.

„I look forward to working side-by-side with our Indonesian counterparts throughout all aspects of our flying mission,“ Chrampanis said.

The combined training offered by exercise Cope West 12 will help prepare the U.S. and Indonesian air forces to work together to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and in turn promote a peaceful Pacific region.

Press release
U.S. Air Force