U.S., Indonesian airmen begin Cope West 11

  • Published
  • By Capt. Raymond Geoffroy
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from the 374th Airlift Wing at Yokota Air Base, Japan, and their Indonesian air force counterparts gathered at a ceremony to officially mark the beginning of the U.S. and Indonesian tactical airlift exercise called Cope West 11 June 20 here.

Three C-130 Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron, one Indonesian air force C-130 and more than 70 Airmen from Yokota AB will participate in the week-long bilateral field training exercise that is designed to enhance the readiness and combined interoperability between the U.S. and Indonesian air forces.

"The general purpose of this exercise is to tighten the friendship and strengthen the good relationship between us and also enhance the capability and professionalism of the personnel involved in generating tactics and techniques for air operations," said Indonesian air force Vice Chief of Staff Air Marshal Dede Rusamsi.  

During the exercise, Airmen from the two nations will work side-by-side, both on the ground and in the air, to hone their skills for potential real-world contingency operations.

"This week we will share tactics, techniques and procedures of air mobility operations and by the end of the week, be collectively better, more capable air forces," said Lt. Gen. Stanley T. Kresge, the 13th Air Force commander.

General Kresge said this exercise is no simple undertaking.

"What we do here is not easy, for we are separated by language, culture, geography and history, but what unites us is more important than all of that," General Kresge said. "We are members of the brotherhood of Airmen and share a love of the sky and the belief in Airpower."

"We have a full week of classroom exchanges, field demonstrations and flight operations lined up to give these Airmen the chance to link up and exchange ideas," said Lt. Col. Pete Kelley, the Yokota AB Cope West 11 det. commander. "We're promoting a learning environment in which both of our air forces can learn to operate more effectively together."

For the Airmen representing the 374th Airlift Wing, Cope West 11 offers a unique environment to improve techniques, tactics and procedures while working alongside their Indonesian counterparts.

"This is a great opportunity for us to learn how to operate in an off-station, combined environment," said 2nd Lt. Henry Howard, a maintenance officer from the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. "Personally, I am super excited to be participating. This is my first time coming to Cope West, so I'm really looking forward to this new experience and the chance to see how my fellow Airmen do business."