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US, Indonesia Airmen talks enhance interoperability

(Center Right) U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen Russell Mack, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) deputy commander, (Center Left) Indonesian Air Vice Marshal Umar Sugeng Haryono and the attendees of the U.S. and Indonesian Airman-to-Airman (A2A) talks pose for a group photo in the Courtyard of Heroes at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 11, 2018. PACAF senior leaders hosted Indonesian air force leaders to discuss common regional security challenges. The A2A talks are intended to increase cooperation with our allies and partners. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Daniel Robles)

(Center right) U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen Russell Mack, Pacific Air Forces deputy commander, (center left) Indonesian Air Vice Marshal Umar Sugeng Haryono and the attendees of the U.S. and Indonesian Airman-to-Airman talks pose for a group photo in the Courtyard of Heroes at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 11, 2018. PACAF senior leaders hosted Indonesian air force leaders to discuss common regional security challenges. The A2A talks are intended to increase cooperation with allies and partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Robles)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) -- Pacific Air Forces hosted the Indonesian air force leadership here to discuss the continued partnership and integration of both air forces during Airman-to-Airman talks April 11 – 12, 2018.

A2A talks are designed to foster military-to-military relationships with regional partners and pave the way for future collaboration. The exchange allows Airmen to meet face-to-face to discuss common regional security challenges.

“These talks are invaluable as we continue to develop our military-to-military relationships here in the Indo-Pacific,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Russell Mack, Pacific Air Forces deputy commander. “Our objective is to solve problems and make changes. If we can’t reach an agreement right away, we will figure out solutions that mutually benefit both of our countries and our militaries.”

During the two-day conference, PACAF leadership and seven members of the Indonesian air force discussed expanding their bilateral engagements, increasing cooperation in aviation safety, cybersecurity efforts, future subject matter expert exchanges and improving and expanding the Cope West bilateral exercise.

“This meeting provides a wonderful opportunity to discuss and explore ways to enhance the professionalism of our respective air forces,” said Indonesian Air Vice Marshal Umar Sugeng Haryono. “This will strengthen the relationship between both air forces for years to come.”

The U.S. and Indonesian militaries conduct approximately 170 activities annually across the Defense Department , which included exercise Cope West 18 in March.

“The only way we can face the challenges in the Pacific is through our partners.” Mack said. “I would argue that the biggest asymmetric advantage we have in the Indo-Pacific is our partners.”

This was the 10th annual A2A talks between the two nations. The strategies and plans formed during the A2A talks will be used by both nations for the next two to five years. The two air forces are scheduled to meet again for A2A talks in Indonesia, March 2019.

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