Indonesian, Australian air forces hold joint exercise

Pekanbaru, Riau – Five F-16 fighter planes based at Air Squadron 16 Fighting Falcon, Roesmin Nurjadin Air Force Base in Pekanbaru, Riau will be participating in the joint exercise called Pitch Black 2016 which will take place in Darwin, Australia.

The planes with 62 personnel — 12 pilots and 50 crew members and technicians — were seen off by Roesmin Nurjadin Air Base Commander, First Marshal Henri Alfiandi, here on Wednesday.

He asked all personnel to stay secure and return to their home base safely.

“Stay safe and secure, check and re-check the details of each preparation so that the exercise proceeds safely and smoothly until you all reach back the home base,” the Commander said.

The joint exercise involves Australia, the United States, Indonesia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Canada. It will take place for one week starting August 1, 2016.

The aircrafts and personnel have departed for the Iswahyudi air base before flying to Eltari air base in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.

Henri said the planes and the personnel would not immediately fly to Australia as they have to wait for a flight slot to be provided by the Australian military.

The Roesmin Nurjadin air base in Pekanbaru has two air squadrons.

In addition to Air Squadron 16, which was inaugurated in December 2014, the air base also has Air Squadron 12 equipped with Hawk 100/200 fighters. (ANT)

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