In a historic first, two U.S. B-52 bombers landed in Indonesia on June 19 to execute training exercises with Indonesian Airforce (TNI-AU) F-16 aircraft. The landing at Kualanamu airport in Medan and subsequent operations mark the first time U.S. B-52s have operated from Indonesia. The aircraft, from the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron (23EBS) from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, are participating in interoperability landing joint exercises with the Indonesian Air Force and U.S. Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).
Sixty crew from the 23EBS are involved in carrying out the bomber landing joint exercise in conjunction with Cope West 2023, a bilateral exercise being held at Roesmin Nurjadin Air Force Base, Pekanbaru, Indonesia, June 12-23. U.S. and Indonesian participants will exercise tactical fighter capabilities, evaluate proficiency, identify future training opportunities, and enhance capabilities integral to a variety of bilateral missions.
Cope West is a recurring exercise first held in 1989. This year marks the 10th time Cope West will be hosted in Indonesia.
Pacific Air Forces, in coordination with other components, Allies and partners, provides U.S. Indo-Pacific Command with continuous unrivaled air, space, and cyberspace capabilities to uphold the rules-based international order and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.