On Friday, June 12 in Jakarta, The United States and Indonesia furthered their deep defense cooperation with the signing of an arrangement allowing the U.S. Government to conduct joint research leading to the investigation and excavation of U.S. service member remains from Indonesia.
Concluding years of coordination between the United States Defense Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Accounting Agency (DPAA), the U.S. Embassy’s Defense Attaché Office (DAO), the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), and the TNI History Center (Pusjarah TNI) came to an agreement to allow DPAA to research the whereabouts of the remains of over 2000 missing U.S. personnel who fought in World War II in Indonesia.
U.S. Air Force Major General Kelly McKeague noted during the ceremony: “It would be impossible to accomplish this important humanitarian mission without the approval and support of the Government and the people of Indonesia.
This signing establishes the partnership that will enable us to accomplish this noble mission and help bring closure to the many families who are still waiting. On behalf of the American families who have family members missing in Indonesia from World War II, I want to thank General Zaedun and his Pusjarah team for their willingness to help us. This arrangement is indicative of the friendship between the Republic of Indonesia and the United States of America.”
U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Robert Blake stated: “This arrangement honors the memory of both Americans and Indonesians who have fought for their countries.
U.S.-Indonesia defense cooperation has never been stronger or more comprehensive than it is today, and we are proud to be Indonesia’s top defense partner in joint exercises and other engagements.
In addition to regular training, military-to-military exchange programs, and sales and agreements between our countries, today’s agreement reinforces the cooperation between our countries on the basis of the principles of humanity, equality, mutual benefits, non-interference, and mutual respect. We are grateful for the cooperation and consideration in allowing us to recover the American personnel from World War II who are still missing.”
All expenses related to the research and eventual recovery are funded by the United States Government, and all research and field work will be conducted based on arrangements agreed upon by DPAA and Pusjarah TNI.