Service members and aircraft from the Indonesian and United States Air Forces are participating in bilateral tactical fighter exercise Cope West 2023 at Roesmin Nurjadin Air Force Base, Pekanbaru, Riau Province, from June 12 to 23. Approximately 100 service members of the US Air Force’s 8th Fighter Wing are training alongside Indonesian Air Force personnel in the field training exercise, the US Embassy in Jakarta informed in a statement released on Tuesday.
As many as six US Air Force F-16s and seven Indonesian Air Force aircraft are participating in this year’s exercise. The Indonesian and US participants are scheduled to exercise their tactical fighter capabilities, evaluate their proficiency, identify future training areas, and enhance capabilities integral to a variety of bilateral missions, the US Embassy said in its statement.
“Thank you to everyone involved in the planning process. It took a lot of work to get here today. We thank you for the opportunity we have to grow together, both in tactics and friendship,” US Air Force 35th Fighter Squadron commander, Lt. Col. Eric Broyles, said at the opening ceremony of the exercise on Monday.
Cope West is a recurring exercise that first took place in 1989. This year marks the 10th time Cope West is being hosted in Indonesia. The Pacific Air Forces, in coordination with other components, allies, and partners, are providing the US Indo-Pacific Command with continuous and unrivaled air, space, and cyberspace capabilities to uphold the rules-based international order and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific, said the US Embassy. Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) is a Major Command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force and is also the air component command of the United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM).