JAKARTA (LINTAS PAPUA)  –   Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, wrapped up a multi-day visit to Indonesia July 3, reaffirming the U.S. Navy’s commitment to the bilateral Strategic Partnership between the United States and Indonesia and celebrating 70 years of relations with Indonesia.

“Indonesia has been an important strategic partner for 70 years and it was important for me to come here and meet with my counterparts to discuss areas for continued cooperation,” Aquilino said.  “I am encouraged that the bond of friendship forged between our navies continues to grow stronger through leadership engagements like this, ship visits to Indonesia like USS Patriot’s visit to Jakarta last week and Bali this week, and joint military exercises like the ASEAN-U.S. Maritime Exercise later this year,” he said.

During the visit, Aquilino met with U.S. Ambassador Joseph R. Donovan Jr., Chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces (Panglima TNI) ACM Hadi Tjahjanto, Chief of the Naval Staff (Kasal) ADM Siwi Sukma Adji, Chief of the Air Force Staff (Kasau) ACM Yuyu Sutisna, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan, and other senior military, diplomatic and national security officials of Indonesia.

Aquilino also met with Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi. Later this year, the U.S. Navy will participate in the 2019 ASEAN-U.S. Maritime Exercise, whose theme is “Enhancing Shared Awareness and Interoperability in the Maritime Domain.”

“The United States and Indonesia have many shared interests in improving maritime domain awareness,” said Aquilino.  “By partnering together going forward, we can improve maritime security in many ways – from combatting illegal drug trafficking to curbing unreported, unregulated, and illegal fishing.”

Aquilino said that he is pleased that the military-to-military relationship between the two nations has expanded in recent years.

“It is our hope that these talks will lead to new areas for collaboration in order to help maintain security, stability and prosperity within the region.” (Eveerth Joumilena)