President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has revived a special military force to strengthen Indonesia’s fight against terrorism.
“To address the escalating threats on the nation’s ideology, sovereignty and security, as well as to protect all Indonesians, the government needs the Indonesian Military [TNI] to have a special operation force,” Jokowi said on Monday as quoted by tempo.co.
The Special Operations Command (Koopsus) is set to assist the National Police in antiterrorism operations under certain conditions.
The special force is regulated under Presidential Regulation No. 42/2019 after a second amendment of Presidential Regulation No.10/2010 on the organization of the TNI.
The joint force comprises personnel from the TNI’s three armed forces, namely the Army's Special Forces (Kopassus), the Navy's Denjaka specialized squad and the Air Force's Bravo 90 unit.
Expected to be highly agile, Koopsus is set to carry out special operations both within Indonesian and abroad to protect national security interests.
In 2018, an announcement on the revival of the special force was made in the wake of a string of terrorist attacks on Indonesian soil, which threw the nation into a state of paranoia.
Jokowi emphasized that the special force would be deployed only when the National Police's capacity was deemed inadequate to respond to an emergency.
"That means preventive measures are much more important than repressive measures," Jokowi said.
Jokowi's statement came days after Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said the President had agreed to a proposal to revive the special force, which was first established when Moeldoko was the TNI commander in 2015.
The special force’s operations were later suspended under the leadership of Moeldoko's successor Gatot Nurmantyo.
When on duty, an operation unit comprises 90 personnel, who will be deployed immediately if needed.
TNI commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said the TNI had requested a budget of Rp 1.5 trillion [US$ 106.9 million] to the House of Representatives. The proposed budget is expected to be used to build infrastructure and provide defense equipment. Furthermore, the TNI will build a Koopsusgab network with local governments to ensure early detection of suspected terrorist groups. (asp)