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U.S., Indonesian air forces execute Cope West 19

Air Superority

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter pilot flies alongside two Indonesian air force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter pilots over the Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado, Indonesia, during Cope West 19, June 20, 2019. Cope West is a recurring exercise dating back to 1989, and this year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Indonesia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

Fly like a falcon

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter pilot flies alongside two Indonesian air force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter pilots over Manado, Indonesia, during Cope West 19, June 20, 2019. Cope West is a two-week, Pacific Air Forces-sponsored, bilateral exercise designed to advance interoperability and build upon already established partnerships between U.S. military forces and the Indonesian air force. The exercise affords both countries with opportunities to exchange techniques in aircraft generation and recovery, close air support training and air-to-air fighter training as well as host subject-matter expert exchange across various career fields. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

Flying with a view

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter pilot flies alongside two Indonesian air force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter pilots off the coast of Manado, Indonesia, during Cope West 19, June 20, 2019. Approximately 100 U.S. service members and six F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 14th Fighter Squadron, based out of Misawa Air Base, Japan, integrated with six F-16s from the Indonesian air force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

Out of many, one

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter pilot flies alongside two Indonesian air force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter pilots off the coast Manado, Indonesia, during Cope West 19, June 20, 2019. Cope West is a bilateral exercise designed to advance interoperability and continue to build partnerships between the U.S. and Indonesian militaries. This year’s iteration highlights the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

DV section

Distinguished guests wait for the Cope West 19 opening ceremony to begin at Sam Ratulangi International Airport, Indonesia, June 17, 2019. Cope West 19 further strengthened the close partnership between the U.S. and Indonesia and highlighted 70 years of U.S.-Indonesian diplomatic relations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

Opening remarks

Indonesian air force Col. Satriyo Utomo, 3rd Wing base commander, and U.S. Air Force Col. Paul Kirmis, 13th Air Expeditionary Group commander, provide remarks during the Cope West 19 opening ceremony at Sam Ratulangi International Airport, Indonesia, June 17, 2019. U.S. forces routinely conduct operations, exercises and training missions with other countries in the Indo-Pacific. These regional engagements are focused on improving interoperability and familiarization with allies and partners to safeguard the freedom of the seas and overflight in international airspace, deter conflict and coercion and promote regional stability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

Patch exchange

U.S. Air Force Capt. Jared Morris, 14th Fighter Squadron Cope West 19 project officer, receives a patch from Indonesian air force Col. Satriyo Utomo, 3rd Wing base commander, during the Cope West 19 opening ceremony at Sam Ratulangi International Airport, Indonesia, June 17, 2019. Cope West is a recurring exercise that has taken place since 1989. This year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and Indonesia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

Inspection of the troops

Indonesian air force Col. Satriyo Utomo, 3rd Wing base commander, and U.S. Air Force Col. Paul Kirmis, 13th Air Expeditionary Group commander, conduct a review of the troops as part of the Cope West 19 opening ceremony at Sam Ratulangi International Airport, Indonesia, June 17, 2019. The exercise afforded both countries the opportunity to exchange techniques in aircraft generation and recovery, close air support training and air-to-air fighter training as well as host subject-matter expert exchange across various career fields. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

Universal military bearing

Indonesian service members display military bearing during the Cope West 19 opening ceremony at Sam Ratulangi International Airport, Indonesia, June 17, 2019. Cope West 19 further strengthened the close partnership between the U.S. and Indonesia and highlighted 70 years of U.S.-Indonesian diplomatic relations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

Multi-colored formation
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U.S. Air Force and Indonesian service members display military bearing during the Cope West 19 opening ceremony at Sam Ratulangi International Airport, Indonesia, June 17, 2019. Approximately 100 U.S. service members from the 14th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan integrated six U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons with six F-16 aircraft from the Indonesian air force 3rd Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

Stronger together
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U.S. Air Force and Indonesian service members stand at parade rest during the Cope West 19 opening ceremony at Sam Ratulangi International Airport, Indonesia, June 17, 2019. U.S. forces routinely conduct operations, exercises and training missions with other countries in the Indo-Pacific. These regional engagements are focused on improving interoperability and familiarization with allies and partners to safeguard the freedom of the seas and overflight in international airspace, deter conflict and coercion and promote regional stability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

Media frenzy
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Distinguished guests from the Cope West 19 opening ceremony pause for a group photo at Sam Ratulangi International Airport, Indonesia, June 17, 2019. Cope West is a two-week Pacific Air Forces-sponsored, bilateral exercise designed to advance interoperability and build upon already established partnerships between U.S. military forces and Indonesian air forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

MANADO, Indonesia --

U.S. and Indonesian air forces officially began flying operations in support of Cope West 19, following an opening ceremony at Sam Ratulangi International Airport, Manado, Indonesia, June 17.

“Today marks our nations' third fighter exercise over the past two decades and also the second time in two years that the 35th Fighter Wing, based out of Misawa Air Base, Japan, has participated in this event” Col. Paul Kirmis, the 13th Air Expeditionary Group commander, explained in his remarks while presiding over the opening ceremony.

Cope West is a two-week Pacific Air Forces-sponsored, bilateral exercise designed to advance interoperability and build upon already-established partnerships between U.S. military forces and Indonesian air forces. The exercise will afford both countries the opportunity to exchange techniques in aircraft generation and recovery, close air support training, and air-to-air fighter training as well as host subject-matter expert exchange across various career fields.

Kirmis continued, saying exercises such as Cope West afford opportunities to strengthen the ties between our people while honing our tactical air-to-air combat skills and interoperability.

Indonesian air force Col. Satriyo Utomo, the 3rd Wing base commander, expanded on Kirmis' words, saying that this exercise will not only be an exchange of knowledge but a solid foundation for the future of both our air forces.

Approximately 100 U.S. service members from the 14th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan will integrate six F-16 Fighting Falcons with six F-16 aircraft from the Indonesian air force's 3rd Wing.

Among the distinguished guests in attendance was the Honorable Joseph R. Donovan Jr., the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, who stated the joint exercise was one of 200 that have been carried out between the countries.

Cope West is a recurring exercise that has been executed since 1989. This year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Indonesia.

“Once again this exercise increases the togetherness that’s been established for years,” said Donovan.

U.S. forces routinely conduct operations, exercises and training missions with other countries in the Indo-Pacific. These regional engagements are focused on improving interoperability and familiarization with allies and partners while providing an optimal training environment for increased readiness, preparing both countries to work together in promoting a peaceful Indo-Pacific region.