Jakarta (ANTARA) - Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto stated that the presence of Indonesian cadets studying in military academies in the United States is a historical breakthrough in military cooperation between the two countries.

"We are having a historical breakthrough right now because we have sent our cadets to the US Military Academy in West Point, US Naval Academy in Annapolis, and US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs," Subianto stated after meeting the US Army Chief of Staff General James Charles McConville at the Defense Ministry Office here, Friday.

Indonesian cadets in US military academies exhibited the level of trust and the strength of cooperation between Indonesia and the United States militaries, he remarked.

During the meeting, Subianto and McConville discussed enhancing cooperation between the Indonesian Army (TNI-AD) and the US Army in various aspects, such as education, training, and personnel exchange.

"Our relations with US military personnel have continued very well so far. We are cooperating for decades, and we agree to enhance the cooperation," the minister noted.

Subianto also highlighted Garuda Shield -- joint exercise between the Indonesian military and the US Indo-Pacific Command -- as one form of cooperation that has been established between Indonesia and the United States for years.

"Garuda Shield has taken place for years, for 15 years. Hence, it is not a new program. It will continue as such, and we are open to holding a joint exercise with any countries," he affirmed.

Meanwhile, General McConville stated that the United States and Indonesia shared the same keenness to enhance bilateral cooperation and continue with ongoing collaborations.

"We share the same goals with Indonesia for peace, stability, security, and prosperity by working together and cooperating together, so the relationship will be very strong. We are looking to work very closely with you all in the future," McConville affirmed.

The US general's visit to Indonesia is part of his Indo-Pacific tour, starting from the US Army Headquarters in Alaska last Sunday (May 5) before continuing to Japan on Monday (May 8), the Philippines on Wednesday (May 10), and Indonesia on Friday.

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Translator: Genta Tenri M, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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