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Jakarta Post

An Air Force fit for the 21st century

  • Gilang Kembara
    Gilang Kembara

    Researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Jakarta   /   Tue, April 18, 2017   /  11:20 am
An Air Force fit for the 21st century Flying high: Lieutenant Ratna, a female officer in the Indonesian Air Force, poses before landing at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta during a celebration of the Air Force's 66th anniversary. (JP/Jerry Adiguna)

As the sound of engines from both the Su-27/30 and F-16 jet fighters roared over my house earlier this month, I couldn’t contain my excitement over those maneuvering metal birds preparing for the Air Force’s anniversary on April 9. The “wings of the motherland” — swa bhuwana paksa as the Air Force motto goes — made me feel proud of having those pilots protect our great nation. However, I also feel a sense of concern and confusion over the Air Force. It is no secret that the Air Force (and the Air Wing of other branches of the Indonesian Military or TNI) has had unfortunate incidents and accidents. Between 2015 and 2016 alone, the Air Force lost six fixed-wing aircrafts, mostly brand-new, straight-off-the-factory-floor, equipment. In addition, the controversy surrounding the acquisition of the Agusta Westland (AW) 101 caused much confusion, as the...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.