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Jakarta Post

Military to create joint force in western Indonesia

  • Nani Afrida

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, February 20, 2015   /  07:21 am

The Indonesian Military (TNI) said it would focus its operations in the western part of the country, especially in Sumatra and Kalimantan, to deal with foreign threats.

The TNI said such efforts would be directed by a joint command known as Kogabwilhan.

'€œIn the future, we expect that the South China Sea will be a flash point. So, a task force, such as the Kogabwilhan, will be very important,'€ Indonesian Military Chief Gen. Moeldoko said at the military headquarters in Cilangkap, West Jakarta, on Wednesday.

Kogabwilhan aims to pool the regional resources of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force into multi-service groups that will be positioned at certain defense flash points integral to preserving the country'€™s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The operational areas will be divided into three parts, western, eastern and central.

Military expert and researcher in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Iis Gindarsah said it made sense for the TNI to prioritize Sumatra and Kalimantan.

'€œMost immediate flashpoints are located near the land and sea borders of Sumatra and Kalimantan,'€ Iis said.

Besides prioritizing Sumatra and Kalimantan, Moeldoko said Kogabwilhan was part of an effort to rearranging of the whole organization of the military in order to improve its operation.

The TNI is expected to set up a new operation command for the Air Force and a new division of the Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad) under Kogabwilhan.

Moeldoko said President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo had been briefed on the plan, since it would involve transferring resources from local military commands, Air Force operation commands and the Navy to the new Kogabwilhan joint command.

'€œHe has been informed about it and is considering when to make it official. We will just wait for a response from the government,'€ Gen. Moeldoko said.

Last week, Defense Ministry spokesperson Brig. Gen. Djundan Eko Bintoro confirmed that the Defense Ministry drafted regulations and budget proposals for the Kogabwilhan.

The TNI expects Kogabwilkan to be in place by 2024.

President Jokowi approved the plan and called on the TNI to swiftly implement it.

'€œAs soon as possible, we will implement the plan. But first details for the plan should be finalized and then given to me,'€ Jokowi said after a meeting with TNI leadership in November last year.

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