The Indonesian Minister of Defense, Gen. (Ret.) Ryamizard Ryacudu officially visited Washington D.C. on 27-29 August 2018 as part of efforts to continue strengthening bilateral ties between Indonesia and the United States (U.S.), especially in the defense area. The minister was accompanied by the high level officials of the Ministry of Defense, the Indonesian Ambassador to the US, H.E. Budi Bowoleksono, and the Defense Attaché of the Embassy of Indonesia, AFM. Joko Takarianto.
The visit began with the meeting between the Indonesian Minister of Defense and the U.S. Defense Secretary, Gen. (Ret) James N. Mattis, which took place in the U.S. Department of Defense, Pentagon, Virginia. At the Pentagon, the Indonesian Minister of Defense was welcomed with a military ceremony of 21-gun salute which was followed by inspecting an honor guard and listening to the national anthems of the two countries.
During the meeting, the two ministers reaffirmed the long-standing defense relationship between Indonesia and the United States. The Indonesian Minister of Defense also reiterated Indonesia’s support for the concept of “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” initiated by the U.S., by emphasizing the economic approach, upholding the principle of inclusiveness, and promoting ASEAN’s role.
The discussion on strategic issues focused primarily on defense and security in the Indo-Pacific region. Both Minister Ryacudu and Secretary Mattis agreed to expand Maritime Domain Awareness cooperation, enforcement of the UN Security Council resolutions to combat trans-national crimes, such as piracy, Illegal, Unreported, and Unreported (IUU) Fishing, and illicit trafficking. Furthermore, the US Defense Secretary conveyed his support for the Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines trilateral cooperation, which aims to address security issues on territorial waters of the respective countries.
In addition, both also agreed to strengthening military human resources through joint education and training programs, building the capacity of defense industry, as well as modernizing the military equipment and defense systems.
Concluding his visit, the Indonesian Minister of Defense witnessed the signing of MoU on cooperation between Boeing and P.T. Dirgantara Indonesia to explore opportunities in manufacturing technologies, maintenance, support, training, and certifications. Indonesia is committed to advance its aerospace industry, including that for the armed forces.