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The work U.S. noncommissioned officers do has been singled out to help further the warming trend in U.S.-Indonesian military relations begun in the aftermath of the December 2004 tsunamis.

A new training program beginning this year will acquaint Indonesian noncommissioned officers with the strengths of the U.S. noncommissioned officer corps, Adm. William Fallon announced during a Thursday-Saturday trip to Indonesia.

Fallon, Pacific Command commander, visited Indonesia to meet with political and military leaders as part of a scheduled trip in Asia, said Lt. Cdr. Jason Salata, a PACOM spokesman.

“U.S. and Indonesian military relations positively impacts security in the region,” Salata said.

Specific details of the training have yet to be released but it will help Indonesian army, navy and air force noncommissioned officers develop technical skills, Salata said. Pacific Command offers similar training with many of its regional allies, he said.

“An NCO corps is the backbone of any professional military. For us it’s a success. We want to export that training and showcase it,” he said.

The training is part of a renewal of ties with Indonesia’s military — called Tentara Nasional Indonesia — that had been strained due to human-rights issues in the country.

U.S. military units began working with the Indonesian military during relief efforts in the wake of the catastrophic tsunami Dec. 26, 2004. In November the State Department lifted restrictions on military relations and sales to the country of almost 250 million people, 88 percent of whom are Muslim.

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