Army strengthens border security areas, considers forming new military commands
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Army will further strengthen military posts in the Indonesian regions bordering other countries with the objective of developing infrastructure and human resources, Army spokesperson Brig. Gen. Muhammad Sabrar Fadhilah said on Friday.
He also said the Indonesian Military would mull over establishing new Military Commands in Papua and Sulawesi.
According to Fadhilah, military posts in border regions now lacked military personnel and infrastructure that supported their mobility, such as roads, transportation and weapons systems, making the bases unable to effectively be at the forefront of safeguarding the country.
"We will improve the infrastructure and place more personnel, since they are the ones who will directly face threats of invasion or smuggling over the sea," Fadhilah told journalists. He gave as an example that currently only two military personnel were placed in a military post on Liran Island, the westernmost island of the Maluku province.
Border regions susceptible to attacks have become a priority, according to Fadhilah, particularly regions such as Maluku, Papua, the Kalimantan borders, Aceh (North Sumatra) and small islands that are mostly located in eastern Indonesia.
The form of development could not be standardized for all military posts in Indonesia, Fadhilah said, since the distinct conditions shaped what needed to be improved in each region.
"For example, speedboats for military personnel placed on islands will bring greater benefits for mobility than motorcycles," Fadhilah said.
Meanwhile, the Army would also aim to form Military Command (Kodam) 13 in Manado, North Sulawesi, to further intensify control of the border regions and to further enhance the security there.
Kodam 13 would oversee three regional commands (Korem) in Manado, Gorontalo province and Palu in Central Sulawesi. The Army would also establish more military district commands (Kodim), the creation of which would be based on necessity.
"This [the formation of new military commands] is for the sake of the national interest, particularly to safeguard Indonesia's sovereignty because the Indonesian Military is responsible to protect outer border regions," said Fadhilah.
The Army was also eyeing the formation of a new Kodam in West Papua to cover sensitive areas, but it was still in the assessment stage and would be developed in the future, Fadhilah added. (bbn)
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