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.

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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