Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - Indonesia and the United States are holding the Cope West 2023 air combat joint exercise at Roesmin Nurjadin Air Base in Pekanbaru to strengthen military relations between the two countries.

"This joint exercise was officially opened by the head of the Indonesian Air Force delegation and the head of the US PACAF delegation, Lt. Col Eric 'Heff' Broyles," Head of the Air Force Delegation Colonel I Gusti Putu Setia Dharma said here on Tuesday.

The joint exercise is aimed at fostering understanding between the two countries and strengthening relations between their air forces.

Dharma said that the Cope West exercise has provided an opportunity for the two air forces to interact with each other and share knowledge.

"The Cope West is also aimed at enhancing the capabilities and professionalism of personnel from both air forces in terms of developing tactics and techniques for conducting air operations," he said.

The Air Force's elite Bravo Detachment 90 and the US Marines are also sharing experiences and knowledge through the Military-to-Military Connection Direct Action Ground Reconnaissance (M2MC DAGR).

Meanwhile, Lt. Col Broyles lauded the Air Force delegation for welcoming and preparing for the exercise very well.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to build on mutual cooperation," Broyles said.

Cope West, which is being held for two weeks, involves the participation of hundreds of personnel using F-16 fighters from both air forces.

Elite troops in the M2MC DAGR exercise will practice close combat, pistol, and rifle shooting, day and night snipers, VVIP security, and the field health exercise.

This year's Cope West is being held for the 10th time in Indonesia, with the first being organized in Medan, North Sumatra, in 1989.

The exercise is part of an implementation of the long-standing bilateral relations between the two countries for jointly maintaining regional stability in Southeast Asia.

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Translator: Frislidia, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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