The US-China Advance Teams Arrive Early in Bali, Special Requests from US
The United States and China advance teams have arrived early in Bali, bringing in their delegations’ logistics for their participation in the Group of 20 Summit.
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The United States Air Force's Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is parked at Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali, on Wednesday (9/11/2022). The transportation aircraft deployed logistics for the US delegation for the upcoming G20 summit.
Advance teams from four countries had arrived as of Thursday (11/10/2022), bringing with them the delegations’ logistics for their participation in the G20 Summit. The four countries were the US, China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Of the four advance teams, the US and China arrived in Bali earliest.
The US, China and Saudi Arabia are member states of the G20, an association of 19 countries and the European Union (EU), one of the world's largest continental economic powerhouses. The UAE is attending the G20 Summit, which is scheduled for 15-16 November, as one of the monitoring countries.
Of the four advance teams, the US and China arrived in Bali earliest. As President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has stated, 17 state and regional union (EU) leaders would be coming to the G20 Summit in Bali. In an interview with Kompas on Thursday (11/3/2022), Jokowi said that Russia, Brazil and Mexico had yet to confirm the arrival of their state leaders.
On Thursday (11/10/2022), it appeared that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be absent from the summit. He has appointed Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to lead the Russian delegation. "It has been decided that Sergey Lavrov will represent Russia at the G20 Summit," Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, told reporters in Moscow, Russia.
The Chinese team came in two batches on civilian cargo planes.
The US advance team members landed on the C-17 Globemaster III, a military cargo transportation aircraft, on 8-9 November in six flight batches. The Chinese team came in two batches on civilian cargo planes.
Among the deployed logistics were communication facilities and security detectors for heads of state.
“As of Thursday, the United Arab Emirates [advance] team arrived. Basically, all countries have sent teams to discuss [security matters]. However, the most intense communication is with the US and China. Communication has been going well, and this proves they trust Indonesia,” Col. Bambang Sudewo, Indonesian Air Forces II base operations assistant, said on Thursday (10/11/2022).
According to Bambang, the US team was quite communicative and they had engaged in intensive discussions between them. “[They] were not excessive, nor arrogant. They mentioned about the SOP [standard operating procedures], and we delivered. For instance, with our roads being only this wide, [we wanted them] to adjust their vehicles accordingly. And they understood," he said.
US special request
One of the US requests, which was mentioned as part of their SOP, according to Bambang, was for the US president’s Air Force One to be parked quite a distance apart. “They have wanted their presidential plane to be parked at the southernmost end of the runway, apart from other aircraft, as well as commercial flights," he said.
Likewise, Indonesia may also hope that other countries respect the security procedures for the Indonesian President.
He said the request did not come as irritating because they respected the country's defense procedures. Likewise, Indonesia may also hope that other countries respect the security procedures for the Indonesian President.
The Ngurah Rai airport is expecting as many as 12 planes carrying heads of states. The escort team's planes will be directed to airports in other cities, such as Makassar, Surabaya, Surakarta, Yogyakarta and Jakarta (Halim Perdanakusuma and Soekarno-Hatta airports).
When the C-17 Globemaster III touched down in Bali, local residents looked exhilarated. The sighting of the plane became a viral topic in cyberspace, some enthusiastically spoke about the large body plane buzzing low over the streets of Bali.
A C-17 aircraft is the US main military transportation aircraft with a large capacity. During the crisis of power in Afghanistan as the toppled government passed power to the hands of the Taliban in August 2021, the C-17 was among the air fleet used to evacuate US nationals and Afghans out of the country.
Bambang said that the plane could accommodate two long and fully loaded trailer trucks. It could carry 300-400 paratroopers.
Compared with the C-17, Indonesia’s military cargo aircraft, namely the Hercules, has a far smaller transportation capacity, being able to take only about 80 personnel. “It must be admitted that technology is developing rapidly, including in aircraft. Our [equipment] is old technology, while the US as a manufacturer of military equipment, has advanced technology," Bambang said.
Based on the official US Air Force website, a C-17 measures 53 meters long with a wingspan of 51.75 m. The aircraft is powered by four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engines, a modified model of the Pratt and Whitney PW2040 used on commercial aircraft Boeing 757.
Even with this huge body, the aircraft is still capable of operating on short runways and rough-surfaced airfields while carrying a heavy load.
"During the Palu disaster, our team, consisting of over 100 soldiers on a Hercules, carried out loading and unloading manually for 45 minutes," he said.
"For the US, unlike the Hercules type, it needed only three crew members. At first, we had wanted to help, but they refused. They loaded the goods, using the equipment they were equipped with and only took 15 minutes. That's technology," he said.
Advanced defense equipment owned by some participating countries apart, summit host Indonesia is making extraordinary efforts to ensure the security of the G20 Summit. TNI chief Gen. Andika Perkasa said the G20 Summit VVIP Security Task Force had long been in place to make the event a success.
With security briefing having been called on Monday (07/11/2022), security personnel have by now been taking to the sites for duty. The total security force for the G20 Summit is 18,030 personnel. "Stay at your respective [guarding] points until the G20 Summit is over," Andika said, giving instructions to the personnel.