ROESMIN NURJADIN AIR FORCE BASE, Indonesia -- U.S. Air Force and Indonesian Air Force F-16s took to the sky together for the first time during exercise Cope West 23 at Roesmin Nurjadin Air Force Base, Indonesia, June 13, 2023.
Cope West is a Pacific Air Forces-sponsored, bilateral, tactical exercise designed to advance interoperability between the U.S. and Indonesian air forces; allow for the exchange of techniques related to air-to-air fighter employment; and promote regional stability through relationship building and unity of purpose.
"Thank you to everyone who went into the planning for this process," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Broyles, 35th Fighter Squadron commander, at the June 12 opening ceremony. "These things don't happen by accident. There was a lot of work between U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Pacific Air Forces, Indonesian Air Force, and the U.S. Air Force to get us here today. We thank you for this opportunity.”
Broyles also expressed his desire that both the pilots and the maintenance professionals from both countries take advantage of this opportunity to work together.
“What I hope to get out of this exercise is for everyone to walk away proud of all the hard work they put into making this happen,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Rhylie Corbin, 35th Fighter Generation Squadron Sortie Support Flight commander.
Exercises such as Cope West further solidify the United States’ commitment to the Indo-Pacific and its allies and partners. Enhancing interoperability between the U.S. and Indonesian air forces contributes to the long-term advancement of the nations’ shared interests.
“We want to take advantage of the opportunity we have to grow together, both in tactics and friendship,” Broyles said. “Make what you can of this short time, these two weeks we have together, and we'll continue to grow and prosper."