Kupang (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) has readied three F-16 fighter jets at the El Tari Airbase here to anticipate possible security risks during the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo on May 9-11, 2023.

"The presence of the three fighter jets is to secure the airspace during the ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo," TNI-AU's National Air Operations Commander Vice Marshal Tonny Harjono stated here.

A C-130 Hercules aircraft, carrying aboard the aircrew, arrived at the air base earlier before three fighter jets.

TNI AU Chief of Staff Air Chief Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo directly instructed the deployment of the fighter jets to secure the summit, he noted.

Harjono remarked that apart from the aircraft deployed at El Tari Airbase, other aircraft are on standby at the Madiun Airbase, East Java, for the summit.

"To secure and anticipate all aspects in Labuan Bajo, we also ready three C-130 Hercules aircraft and two Caracal helicopters for VIP guests," the vice marshal remarked.

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Before landing in Kupang, fighter jets deployed to secure the summit conducted an aerial patrol to ensure no security threats could derail the ASEAN Summit, Harjono stated.

He expressed hope that East Nusa Tenggara's residents, particularly those in Labuan Bajo, would cooperate to maintain security and order to ensure the ASEAN Summit takes place smoothly and securely.

"Because the summit is an international event, let us maintain (security) together to ensure it will take place smoothly," the vice marshal stated.

Meanwhile, one of the F-16 fighter jet pilots, Captain Hangga "Rocket" Dwipayana, stated that areas inspected during the air patrol earlier were the airspace over Kupang, Labuan Bajo, and Sumba regions.

Dwipayana noted that during the air patrol, no aerial threats were found.

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Translator: Kornelis Kaha, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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