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Jakarta Post

Indonesia Air Force gets first female fighter pilot

  • Tri Indah Oktavianti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, May 18, 2020   /   04:28 pm
Indonesia Air Force gets first female fighter pilot Second Lt. Ajeng Tresna Dwi Wijayanti, the first female fighter pilot in the Indonesian Military (TNI). (Handout/Indonesian Air Force)

At the age of 25, Second Lt. Ajeng Tresna Dwi Wijayanti has already gone down in history as the first female fighter pilot in the Indonesian Military (TNI).

Air Force Chief of Staff Air Chief Marshal Yuyu Sutisna congratulated Ajeng as one of 44 pilots in the 97th batch to complete their training at the Air Force flight school, including two female pilots and two soldiers from the Indonesian Army. The 97th Wing Day graduation ceremony took place on May 18, 2020 at Ignatius Dewanto Auditorium of the TNI Headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta.

Ajeng, who is a 2018 graduate of the Air Force Academy, is to pilot the KAI T-50i Golden Eagle with the 15th Squadron of the 3rd Air Wing Fighters stationed at Iswahjudi Air Force Base in Madiun, East Java. Manufactured by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), the T-50i is a supersonic advanced trainer and light attack aircraft.

Ajeng would serve the Air Force in defending Indonesia’s air sovereignty, the Air Force announced.

“The instructors motivated me to become a fighter [pilot], and it has become a reality,” said Ajeng.

Born in Jakarta on Sept. 25, 1995, Ajeng is the daughter of Air Force Col. Prayitno and has been fascinated with fighter jets since she was a child.

Military history of pre-modern Indonesia recorded that the Royal Navy of the Aceh Sultanate had a female admiral named Malahayati who established the Inong Balee, an all-female combat unit consisting of the widows of Acehnese soldiers.

“[Ajeng] is expected to be an inspiration for other women to become fighter pilots and break the glass ceiling in the Indonesian Air Force,” Air Force public communications head Col. Muhammad Yuris said in a written statement titled “Indonesia’s Captain Marvel has been born”.

 “This year’s Wing Day ceremony was conducted in compliance with COVID-19 health protocols, with graduates joining the ceremony virtually from Adisutjipto Hall at the Air Force Academy in Yogyakarta,” he added.

Only the top two pilot trainees and one Army representative would attend the ceremony at the Air Force headquarters to receive their awards, he added. The top pilots are Second Lt. Ravi in the fixed wing aircraft category and Second Lt. Sandro in the rotary wing aircraft category.