US, Indonesian Navies Conduct Air Patrol Exercise in South China Sea


On Thursday, the the U.S. and Indonesian navies carried out a joint maritime air patrol in the waters around the Natuna archipelago.

The patrol involved 88 personnel overall. The United States committed a P-3C Orion fleet comprising four ships and 21 personnel. In terms of Indonesian hardware, the Indonesian navy committed CN-235 and NC-212 short take-off and landing (STOL) maritime patrol aircraft in addition to a BO-105 helicopter.

The air patrol exercise focused on a variety of operational scenarios. In broad terms, it covered maritime domain awareness, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).

The Jakarta Port reported that the “Indonesian Navy’s Aviation Center and the US Navy held a joint sea surveillance exercise in the Malaka Strait and around Natuna Island, located in the South China Sea, to improve security as well as [sic] Pacific rebalance.”

The Jakarta Post cited the U.S. Embassy’s defense attaché, who remarked that the air patrol exercise was “part of the Pacific rebalance.”

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