The Jakarta Post
An airborne training module set to be held in Natuna, Riau Islands this week is part of a regular military exercise, a minister has said.
Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said the Angkasa Yudha airborne training module organized by the Air Force had been conducted several times in the past.
“It’s not the first airborne exercise we have carried out. We have done it several times. This military training exercise will be conducted by the Indonesian Military in Indonesian territory. It’s not in the South China Sea, but in Natuna," Retno responded to queries raised by journalists at the Foreign Ministry office on Tuesday.
As reported earlier, Jokowi is scheduled to visit Natuna on Thursday, partly to inspect the Angkasa Yudha airborne training module, which will reportedly be conducted above Natuna and the South China Sea.
Retno said she had also been invited to witness the airborne training module.
Thirteen F-16 jet fighters will be deployed on the day, during which they are set to fly over areas bordering the neighboring South China Sea, according to Antara news agency.
"Ten will be ready for use while three will remain on stand by," Roesmin Nurjadin Air Force Base commander Air Commander Henri Alfiandi said.
This will be Jokowi’s second visit to Natuna in the last five months after he visited the area to inspect naval patrols on the border of the South China Sea on June 23. The President is also scheduled to inaugurate the newly expanded Ranai Airport. (ebf)
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