Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of Air Staff, Indian Air Force visited Indonesia from 23-26 November on an invitation from Air Chief Marshal Ida Bagus Putu Dunia, Chief of Staff Indonesian Air Force. This was the first visit by an Indian Air Chief to Indonesia in over a decade and happened against the backdrop of the summit meeting between President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the time of the East Asia Summit in Nay Pyi Taw Myanmar, during which enhancement of defence cooperation was one of the key points of discussion.
During this visit, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha had a meeting with his counterpart Air Chief Marshal Putu Dunia and interacted with the Senior Staff of the Indonesian Air Force. The Indonesian Air Force expressed their keen interest to increase the scope of cooperatrion with the Indian Air Force through greater interaction in the future. Indian Air Chief was accompanied by the Indian Ambassador His Excellency Mr Gurjit Singh for his meeting with General (Retired) Ryamizard Ryacudu, the Minister of Defence, RI. The Indonesian Minister of Defence was appreciative of the ongoing initiatives in the field of Defence Cooperation and underlined the immense scope and potential to further the engagement between the two Armed Forces in the future.
Air Chief Marshal Raha also visited PT Dirgantara at Bandung and saw the production and maintenance facilities. He complimented PTDI for their efforts at indigenisation and expressed India’s commitment to support the Indonesian Defence Industry. During his visit to training facilities at Yogyakarta, Indian Chief of Air Staff addressed the cadets at the Indonesian Air Force Academy and interacted with the Jupiter Aerobatics Team at the Flying School.
The visit of Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC,Chairman Chiefs Of Staff Committee and Chief of Air Staff Indian Air Force to Indonesia helped to reiterate the historic connect between the two Armed Forces since the early days on independence while reemphasising the congruence of strategic interests of the two countries in ensuring peace and stability in this region of common interest.
(Text and photo by Ministry of Defence, New Delhi)