Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia and Malaysia have conducted a joint air patrol to secure the Malacca Strait, which counts among the vital waterways for global trade.

For the joint air patrol conducted on Friday (May 24, 2024), the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) dispatched two F-16s while the Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) deployed F-18 Hornets.

According to a press statement issued by the TNI-AU here on Saturday, the two Indonesian fighter jets, which belong to Squadron 16, took off from Roesmin Nurjadin Air Base in Riau province.

The F-16s were piloted by First Lieutenant Galih Rakasiwi and First Lieutenant Ghazi Umar Marzuq. They met with their Malaysian counterparts while flying over the Strait of Malacca.

According to the chief of the Roesmin Nurjadin Air Base, Air Commodore Feri Yunaldi, the Indonesian and Malaysian air forces are working together to maintain peace and security in the Malacca Strait.

The joint air patrol would strengthen the two countries' bilateral and military ties, he said, adding that both Indonesia and Malaysia would secure their respective air sovereignty.

The joint air patrol demonstrates the two countries' commitment to securing regional peace and security, which would be beneficial for the region's economic growth and stability, he said.

Located between Indonesia's Island of Sumatra and the Malaysian Peninsula, the Strait of Malacca connects the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Therein lies its importance for global trade.

As per the World Economic Forum, "Around 94 thousand ships pass through the Malacca Strait every year or use its more than 40 ports. Together, the ships carry around 30 percent of all traded goods globally."

Despite its importance for global trade, the Malacca Strait remains vulnerable to incidents of robbery and piracy, as well as other forms of maritime crimes, including human trafficking and smuggling of goods.

On February 29, 2024, for instance, the Dumai Naval Base in Indonesia's Riau province foiled a robbery attempt by four pirates on MV African Halcyon while it was anchored in Malacca Strait's Dumai waters.

The pirates jumped into the sea and escaped on a speedboat as soon as the Dumai Naval Base's first fleet quick response team arrived on the scene, according to a press statement from the Indonesian Navy.

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Translator: Walda M, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
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