The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Army (TNI-AD) will dispatch a peacekeeping force to Darfur, Sudan to join with United Nations peacekeeping operations in that conflict area.
The Garuda XXXV-A contingent will join with United African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), a UN and African Union joint force, which will begin their one year mission in July.
'This is the first time Indonesia has been involved in UN peacekeeping operations using helicopters,' said TNI-AD chief Gen. Pramono Edhie Wibowo while inspecting the readiness of the mission's personnel and weaponry, as well as helicopters, at a TNI-AD air base in Semarang, Central Java, on Saturday.
Pramono said that in its previous peacekeeping missions, the Indonesian contingent had never brought helicopters.
'This is the first time the UN has given Indonesian military personnel the trust to bring helicopters into a mission,' he said. The three Mi-17 V-5-type helicopters will be brought to Sudan using an Antonov aircraft.
'In the eyes of the world, the reputation of Indonesian peacekeeping missions has always been good. Therefore, [the soldiers] must maintain this good reputation,' said Pramono.
Garuda XXXV-A contingent commander Lt. Col. Eko Priyanto said the contingent comprised 120 personnel, two of which were female. The contingent would be equipped with three M1-17 V-5-type helicopters with fully-installed weaponry systems, belonging to the TNI-AD.
'Each helicopter will be operated by two pilots and two co-pilots. All personnel are ready for the mission,' said Eko, adding that the peacekeeping force should be able to operate the helicopters in all conditions, including during evacuations and search and rescue operations. (ebf)
Your premium period will expire in 0 day(s)close x