F-16s are stationed at El Thari Air Base to protect the ASEAN Summit

KUBANG (ANTARA) – The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) has prepared three F-16 fighter jets at the El Tari Air Base here to anticipate possible security risks during the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo on May 9-11, 2023.

„There are three fighter jets to protect the airspace during the Asean summit in Labuan Bajo,” TNI-AU’s National Air Operations Commander Vice Marshal Tony Harjono said here.

A C-130 Hercules carrying the flight crew arrived at the air base ahead of the three fighter jets.

He noted that the TNI AU Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshal Fatjar Prasetyo, had directly instructed the deployment of fighter jets to secure the summit.

Harjono noted that apart from the planes stationed at El Dari Air Base, other planes are also on standby at East Java’s Madian Air Base for the summit.

“To protect and anticipate all aspects in Labuan Bajo, we have prepared three C-130 Hercules aircraft and two Caracal helicopters for VIP guests,” noted the Vice Marshal.

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Before landing in Kupang, fighter jets deployed to secure the summit carried out aerial patrols to ensure that no security threats derailed the ASEAN summit, Harjono said.

He expressed hope that the residents of East Nusa Tenggara, especially those in Labuan Bajo, would cooperate in maintaining security and order to ensure the smooth and safe conduct of the ASEAN Summit.

„Since the summit is an international event, we will maintain (security) together to ensure that it runs smoothly,” the deputy marshal said.

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Meanwhile, Captain Hanga „Rocket” Twibayana, one of the F-16 fighter jet pilots, said the areas previously inspected during the air patrol were the airspace of Kubang, Labuan Bajo and Sumba areas.

Dwipayana noted that during the air patrol, no aerial threats were detected.

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Translated by: Cornelius Gaha, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Uni Arisanti Sinaga
Copyright © ANTARA 2023

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