Indonesia will buy eight Boeing AH-64E (Apache Block III) attack helicopters worth $500 million. The deal was announced by defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on his visit to Jakarta. yesterday. Hagel is travelling on a multinational visit to SouthEast Asia. “Providing Indonesia these world-class helicopters is an example of our commitment to help build Indonesia’s military capability,” Hagel said.
In addition to the helicopters, the U.S. military will train Indonesian pilots and help in developing tactics, techniques and procedures for operating in the Southeast Asian security environment, a senior defense official said. The new capability “will help Indonesia respond to a range of contingencies, including counter piracy operations and maritime awareness,” he added. “The United States is committed to working with Southeast Asian nations to grow defense capabilities and deepen military-to-military cooperation with all of our partners,” the official said. Hagel’s visit is one step in the development of long-term and enduring solutions to challenges like maritime security, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, counterterrorism, and the peaceful management of disputes in the South China Sea calls for greater cooperation and respect for rules and norms among all parties and the institutions that underpin them, the secretary noted.
“I am also pleased to be able to announce that the U.S. and Indonesia have pledged mutual support and cooperation on the search and recovery of U.S. personnel missing from World War II,” Hagel said. The United States believes that about 1,800 U.S. personnel are still missing in action from World War II in the waters and lands of Indonesia, a senior defense official said, adding that while not all are recoverable, current research indicates that hundreds ultimately may be found and brought home. “The United States commitment to this effort is important to our personnel serving today,” Hagel said, “to make clear that we stand by our pledge to leave no one behind.” Several Indonesian ministries have oversight of such requests, including defense, education and culture, and research and technology. All have agreed to process future requests from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, a joint task force within the Defense Department whose mission is to account for Americans listed as prisoners of war, or missing in action, from all past wars and conflicts.