Indonesian Air Force Foundation Day Date in the current year: April 9, 2024

Indonesian Air Force Foundation Day The Indonesian Air Force has two important anniversaries: its foundation anniversary and the anniversary of the Dakota VT-CLA incident, which occurred during the Indonesian National Revolution. Indonesian Air Force Foundation Day is celebrated on April 9.

The Indonesian Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara) is one of the service branches of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, alongside the Indonesian Army and the Indonesian Navy. It has almost 38,000 personnel and over 220 aircraft. The main combat aircraft of the Indonesian Air Force are Su-27, Su-30, F-16 Fighting Falcon, Hawk 200, KAI Т-50 Golden Eagle, and EMB-314 Super Tucano.

Following the end of the Second World War, Indonesia became the second country in Southeast Asia to acquire an air force (the first one was Thailand). During the Indonesian National Revolution, which lasted from August 1945 to December 1949, Indonesian combat pilots participated in battles against the Dutch colonial authorities. They used former Japanese aircraft abandoned after Japan’s capitulation, as well as aircraft that the Netherlands East Indies Air Force had left before Japan occupied Indonesia in 1941.

At the outbreak of the Indonesian War of Independence, Agustinus Adisucipto was the only Indonesian to hold a multi-engine pilot license. Naturally, he was appointed the commander of the rebel air force. Adisucipto was aided by Japanese pilots who decided to stay in Indonesia after World War II. The Indonesian Air Force was officially formed on April 9, 1946.

After the end of the revolution and the recognition of Indonesian independence, the Dutch handed over their military aircraft to the Indonesian Air Force. These were mostly produced by American manufacturers (North American Aviation, Douglas Aircraft Company, and Consolidated Aircraft). Around the same time, the Indonesian Air Force got it first jet fighter, the de Havilland Vampire.

During the first years of Indonesian independence, the country’s Air Force was mostly engaged in suppressing regional rebellions started by various separatist groups. In the early 1960s, the government of Indonesia initiated the Operation Trikora to annex Netherlands New Guinea and bought various aircraft from the Soviet Union: helicopters (Mi-4 and Mi-6), fighter jets (MiG-15, MiG-17, MiG-19, MiG-21), bombers (Il-28, Tu-16), and transport aircraft (Il-14 and An-12).

From 1999 to 2006, the Indonesian Air Force was affected by arms embargoes imposed by the United States and the European Union following the 1999 East Timorese crisis. These embargoes led to a logistical crisis in the Indonesian Air Force, but the situation has changed for the better since Indonesia recognized the independence of East Timor and the embargoes were lifted.

Today, Indonesia has one of the strongest air forces in Southeast Asia. Most of the country’s airbases are located on Java. The Indonesian Air Force also has a ground force unit, called the Specialized Forces Corps and referred colloquially as the Orange Berets.

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