News>Cope West 2012: U.S., Indonesia air forces strengthen partnership during tactical exercise
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Rick Richard, detachment commander and Indonesian Air Force Col. Ardhi Tjahjoko, 1st Wing commander, shake hands after the opening ceremony for Cope West 2012 June 25 at Halim Air Base, Indonesia. Three C-130s and 80 Airmen from Yokota AB, Japan, and one C-130 and 75 Airmen from the Indonesian Air Force will participate in CW12. Cope West is a bilateral, tactical airlift exercise involving the U.S. and Indonesian Air Forces. The exercise is designed to advance interoperability between the U.S. and Indonesian Air Forces, allow for the exchange of techniques related to airlift, air-land, and airdrop delivery specific to U.S. and Indonesian aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Victoria Meyer)
U.S. and Indonesian Airmen attend the opening ceremony for Cope West 2012 at Halim Air Base, Indonesia, June 25. Three C-130 Hercules and 80 Airmen from Yokota AB, Japan, and one C-130 and 75 Airmen from the Indonesian Air Force will participate in CW12. During Cope West the Airmen will exchange airlift, air-land, and airdrop delivery techniques that will enhance their ability to respond to regional disasters. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Victoria Meyer)
by Master Sgt. Victoria Meyer
Cope West 12 Public Affairs
6/25/2012 - HALIM AIR BASE, Indonesia -- Approximately 80 U.S. Airmen and 75 Indonesian Air Force airmen will participate in exercise Cope West 2012, a bilateral, tactical airlift exercise designed to advance interoperability between the two partner air forces here June 25 through 29.
The exercise will allow U.S. and Indonesian airmen to exchange techniques related to airlift, air-land and airdrop delivery specific to both air forces' aircraft to promote regional stability through cooperation and unity of purpose.
"We are honored that the Indonesian government invited us to be a part of this exercise," said U.S. Air Force Capt. John Chrampanis, mission commander for CW12, 374th Airlift Wing, Yokota Air Base, Japan. "We hope all the months of planning leading up to today result in a successful and safe exercise as we advance our partnership between the U.S. and Indonesian Air Forces."
Exercise Cope West enhances combined readiness and interoperability, reinforces the U.S. commitment to the Pacific, and demonstrates U.S. capability to conduct tactical airlift operations in a bilateral environment.
"We are looking forward to exchanging knowledge and experiences and sharing information. But most importantly, making friends," said Indonesian Air Force Captain Dion Aridito, Cope West staff operations officer. "It is also a little bit of a friendly competition between our crews and the U.S. crews to see who can get closer to the target on the drop zone," Aridito added with a smile. "I think the competition helps everyone improve their skills."
This friendly competition developed over the years as this is not the first time Indonesian airmen have worked alongside American Airmen in this environment.
Aircraft participating in CW12 include three C-130 Hercules from the 374th AW, Yokota AB, Japan, and one C-130 from the Indonesian Air Force.
"I look forward to working side-by-side with our Indonesian counterparts throughout all aspects of our flying mission," Chrampanis said.
The combined training offered by exercise CW12 will help prepare the U.S. and Indonesian Air Forces to work together to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and in turn, promote a peaceful Pacific region.