Tuesday, October 5, 2010

President leads ceremony to mark TNI anniversary

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (C) reviews a military parade during the 65th Indonesian military anniversary in Jakarta on October 5, 2010. Indonesian military or Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) celebrated its anniversary displaying Indonesian jet fighters including Russian-made Sukhoi, American-made F16, F5 Tiger, Hawk and South Korean-made Woong Bee. (Photo: Getty Images)

October 5, 2010, Jakarta - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono led a ceremony to observe the 65th anniversary of Indonesia`s National Defense Forces (TNI) at Halim Perdanakusuma air force base in east Jakarta on Tuesday.

The head of state, flanked by First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, arrived at the venue of the ceremony at around 9 am local time.

Also present on the occasion were among others TNI Chief Adminaral Agus Suhartono, the chiefs of staff of the Air Force, Navy and Army, cabinet ministers and foreign diplomats.

Following the ceremony, the president attended a reception held to entertain guests.
Meanwhile, President Yudhoyono was scheduled to leave for The Netherlands on Tuesday afternoon for a three-day state visit.

"The President and entourage are expected to arrive at Schiphol international airport early Wednesday (local time), October 6, 2010," presidential spokesman for foreign affairs Teuku Faizasyah said here on Monday.

On Wednesday, the Indonesian leader and his entourage would be greeted in a state ceremony at the Noordeinde Palace where they would later attend a state reception and lunch with Queen Beatrix and her family.

"On the occasion of the lunch, the Indonesian President will receive an Order of the Dutch Lion award from Queen Beatrix. The two state leaders will later exchange souvenirs," he said.

The "Order of the Dutch Lion" is a distinction created by King William I on September 29, 1815 and given to noted figures from various fields including ministers, generals, mayors and artists.
Indonesian soldiers watch parachutists during the 65th Indonesian military anniversary in Jakarta on October 5, 2010. (Photo: Getty Images)

Jet fighters Sukhoi Su-27SKM are seen in the sky during a military ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the Indonesia National Military in Jakarta October 5, 2010. (Photo: Reuters)

An Indonesian man shoots Russian-made Indonesian jet fighters Sukhoi maneuver. (Photo: Getty Images)

Indonesian soldiers take pictures as Sukhoi Su-27SKM fighter jets pass by during a ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the Indonesia National Military in Jakarta October 5, 2010. (Photo: Reuters)

Indonesia's U.N peacekeeping force personnel march during a ceremony to commemorate the 65th military anniversary at a base in Jakarta, October 5, 2010. (Photo: Reuters)

An Indonesian special forces Kopassus soldier helps his colleague adjust his beret before a ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the Indonesia National Military in Jakarta October 5, 2010. (Photo: Reuters)

Indonesian special forces Kopassus soldiers march during a ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the Indonesia National Military in Jakarta October 5, 2010. (Photo: Reuters)

ANTARA News/Reuters/Getty Images

President calls for better soldiers' welfare

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stands in a car during an inspection at a ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the Indonesia National Military in Jakarta October 5, 2010. (Photo: Reuters)

October 05, 2010, Jakarta - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has instructed the Finance Minister, Defence Minister and the Indonesian Military Chief to prepare a policy to provide welfare for the soldiers in accordance with their duties and responsibilities.

“Give incentive for soldiers posted in border areas, isolated areas and border islands. I also request for a housing program policy for the soldiers,” Yudhoyono said in a speech at the 65th anniversary of the Indonesian Military (TNI) celebration at Halim Perdana Kusuma Air Force Base in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono presided over a ceremony on parade and procession to commemorate the anniversary.

Also attending the event were several former TNI high-ranking officers such as former TNI commander Gen. (Ret.) Djoko Santoso and former Vice President Gen. (ret.) Try Sutrisno, who is also the former military commander.

The Jakarta Post

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rehearsal of the 65th anniversary ceremony

October 03, 2010, Jakarta -- Indonesia military chief Admiral Agus Suhartono talks to journalists during a press conference after a rehearsal of the 65th anniversary ceremony in Jakarta on October 3, 2010. Indonesian military forces will celebrate their 65th anniversary on October 5. (Photo: Getty Images)

Indonesia military musicians perform during a rehearsal for the 65th anniversary ceremony in Jakarta on October 3, 2010. (Photo: Getty Images)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Deputy Mefense Minister visits Bunaken for ARF-DIREX 2011

Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia (Feb. 12, 2005) – Two U.S. Navy Sailors carry an injured Indonesian man on a stretcher from an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Five (HC-5), at Albadin University Hospital in Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia. The man received medical treatment aboard the Military Sealift Command (MSC) hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19). Mercy is serving as an enabling platform to assist humanitarian operations ashore in ways that host nations and international relief organization find useful. Mercy is currently off the waters of Indonesia in support of Operation Unified Assistance, the humanitarian relief effort to aid the victims of the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia. (Photo: U.S. Navy /Journalist 1st Class Joshua Smith)

October 2, 2010, Manado, North Sulawesi - Deputy Defense Minister Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin visited Bunaken island, Manado, North Sulawesi, Saturday to inspect preparations for International ASEAN Regional Forum Disaster Relief Exercise (ARF-DIREX) which will be held in Manado in March next year.

On the occasion Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin was accompanied by North Sulawesi Governor Sinyo Harry Sarundajang and representatives of the social affairs ministry, National Disaster management (BNPB) and others.

ARF DIREX manages natural disasters and to be attended by 27 countries and co-chaired by Indonesia and Japan.

The strategic momentum will be used by Indonesia to serve its national interests, including handling natural disasters and improve coordination and establish cooperation between civil and military and integrate cooperation between the central and regional governments.

"The current preparations are already one-third completed," he said.

Sjafrie said the reason for holding the event in Manado is serving the political aspect (as a ARF decision), strategic position of Manado, and experience and leadership aspects.

According to him, the main goals of the event were to achieve good management in handling natural disasters and tourism.

"The role of the local administrations is absolutely needed in the event. As many as 27 countries will take part in the event next year," he said.

According to schedule, the deputy defense minister also visited Wori sub-district to inspect preparations for ARF DIREX in Wori sub-district.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Indonesia Plans 180 Flankers Plus F-16s

Sukhoi fighters and F16 Fighting Falcons of the Indonesian Airforce participate in the anniversary of the Indonesian Airforce in Jakarta on April 9, 2010. The defense forces are celebrating the 64th anniversary of the airforce in Indonesia. (Photo: Getty Images)

September 30, 2010, Beijing -- Indonesia intends to acquire 180 Sukhoi Flankers and also to buy Lockheed Martin F-16s, Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro says, setting out plans for a massive expansion of the Southeast Asian country’s air combat force.

If Indonesia is serious about buying 180 Flankers, then Canberra will almost certainly fund the Royal Australian Air Force’s plan for 100 Lockheed Martin F-35s, says Andrew Davies, an analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Until now, there was a significant chance that Australia would buy fewer F-35s.

The Sukhoi fleet will be built up by 2024, with 18 aircraft in each of 10 squadrons, Purnomo says. F-16s will replace BAE Systems Hawks, the government’s Antara news agency says in a report carrying Purnomo’s statement.

If the country does buy 180 Flankers and if it can operate them efficiently — two big ifs — then it will have transformed an air force that now has negligible combat capability.

Indonesia has been operating its current small force of Flankers, a mix of Su-27s and Su-30s, with poor levels of efficiency and availability. Analysts believe that its nine Northrop F-5s are in worse shape. Eight of 12 F-16As and Bs ordered in the 1980s are grounded.

The delivery of three Flankers this week took the force of that type to 10. The government previously said it would buy an additional six.

“To defend our nation’s sovereignty, we have set a target to procure 180 Sukhoi jet fighters to form 10 squadrons,” Purnomo reportedly says.

Besides Australia, the Indonesian buildup also would cause concerns in Singapore and Malaysia, according to Davies, although Leonard Sebastian, a Singapore-based specialist on Indonesia, thinks that Indonesia’s neighbors, including Australia, will not react too strongly.

The Indonesian air force is “pretty weak on human resources — not just the pilots but also the support personnel,” Sebastian says, doubting that the country could operate the Flanker force efficiently.

There is less doubt that it can buy them, he adds. Indonesia has been enjoying strong mineral prices stoked by Chinese demand. And building up the air force, rather than the army, would accord with the country’s policy of creating armed forces that are more technically advanced and professional.

The minister says the strength of the Indonesian economy is helping the government pay for its arms program.

Davies, who thinks Indonesia eventually will have a large number of Flankers but not as many as 180, points out that countries across Southeast Asia are focusing increasingly on advanced military technology.

Purnomo does not say how many F-16s Indonesia wants, but the country is operating six Hawk 100 trainers and 20 Hawk 200 light attack aircraft. Two years ago the government said it wanted to buy a squadron of F-16s between 2010 and 2014.

Any further F-16s may be secondhand. The defense ministry said in July that the U.S. was offering surplus fighters at low prices.

For imports of new weapons, Indonesia will insist on technology transfer and 40% of production work, Deputy Defense Minister Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin says.


No nepotism in Pramono`s appointment as Kostrad chief: Spokesman

General TNI George Toisutta (center), Brig General Lodewijk F Paulus (left), and Major General Pramono Edhie Wibowo (right)

September 30, 2010, Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Major General Pramono Edhie Wibowo`s promotion to the post of commander of the army`s Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad) has nothing to do with the fact that he is related to First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, a presidential spokesman said.

Speaking at the presidential palace here on Thursday, Julian Aldrin Pasha said Edhie Wibowo`s promotion was fully based upon his competence and normal standards within the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI).

"This is done based on competence and normal ranking standards in the TNI. I can assure you that it was not based upon family relationship considerations," he said.

He said the promotion of Mrs Ani Yudhoyono`s younger brother was given not without clear and responsible considerations and reasons.

Julian assured that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had not interfered in the promotion.

"I know the President fully refers the matter to the TNI. So the mechanism for it is that used by the TNI. You may check yourselves about it to the TNI commander if you think it is necessary," he said.

Major General Pramono Edhie Wibowo was promoted as Kostrad commander by the TNI commander in a decree Number Kep/630/IX/2010 dated on September 27, 2010.

The handing over of the post from current Kostrad commander Lt Gen Burhanuddin Amin would be done at the end of next month.

Major General Pramono Edhie Wibowo who is currently commander of the 3rd Siliwangi Regional Military Command was formerly chief of the army`s special forces Kopassus from July 1, 2008 to December 4, 2009.


Vice Admiral Soeparno is new RI Navy`s chief of staff

Indonesia's new military chief Admiral Agus Suhartono (L) and new navy commander Admiral Soeparno take an oath during a swearing-in ceremony at the presidential palace in Jakarta September 28, 2010. (Photo: Reuters)

September 30, 2010, Surabaya, East Java - Vice Admiral Soeparno has become chief of staff of the Indonesian Navy succeeding Admiral Agus Suhartono who has been appointed chief of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI).

The transfer of office of the naval chief of staff was carried out at the Ujung pier in the compound of the Navy`s Eastern Fleet Command here Thursday.

The ceremony was led by General Djoko Santoso, the outgoing TNI chief, and attended by among others East Java Governor Saifullah Yusuf, East Java Provincial Military Chief Insp. General Badrodin Haiti, two former chiefs of of staff of the Navy, respectively Admiral (ret.) Soedomo and Admiral (ret.) Bernard kent Sondakh.

Vice Admiral Soeparno was officially installed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as the news chief of staff of the Navy. On the occasion, the head of state also installed Admiral Agus Suhartono as the TNI chief.

A day earlier Admiral Agus Suhartono and Vice Admiral Soeparno had conducted an Admiral Inspection at the Navy`s Eastern Fleet Command headquarters.

The Admiral Inspection has been traditionally organized to bid farewell to the old Navy chief and to introduce the new one.

Soeparno is named as the Navy chief based on Presidential Decree No. 52/TNI/2010. He graduated from the Navy Academy in 1978.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kopassus and SAS Joint Excercise

September 30, 2010 -- Indonesian soldiers carry a mock victim during a joint anti-terrorism exercise with Australia's elite unit SAS at the Bali International Airport, in Kuta, Indonesia on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010. (Photo: AP)

Indonesian soldiers secure the area as hostages (L) are released during an anti-terror drill in Ngurah Rai International airport in Kuta, Denpasar on the island of Bali, on September 28, 2010. The Indonesian Army's Special Forces Command (Kopasssus) joined a counter-terrorism exercise with Australia�s elite Special Air Service (SAS) regiment. Indonesia has been hit by a number of deadly bombings including attacks on luxury hotels, the Australian embassy and tourist spots that have killed around 250 people since 2002. (Photo: Getty Images)

Post of navy chief transferred to Soeparno

(Photo: detikFoto/Zainal Effendi)

September 30, 2010, Jakarta - The Navy chief post will be transferred Thursday morning from Admiral Agus Suhartono to Vice Admiral Soeparno.

The ceremony for the transfer of the post will be held at the headquarters of the Navy`s Eastern Fleet Command in Surabaya, East Java.

Soeparno is named as the Navy chief based on Presidential Decree No. 52/TNI/2010. He graduated from the Navy Academy in 1978.

Soeparno is appointed as the Navy chief succeeding Agus Suhartono who has been named as the commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI).


Indonesia Plans to Purchase 5 Submarines

Indonesia's submarines.

September 30, 2010 -- The Indonesian Defence Ministry has plans to purchase five submarines worth $350m-$400m each by the end of 2010 to strengthen maritime security in Indonesian waters.

State shipbuilder PT PAL president director Harsusanto said the ministry might hold a tender on the submarines this year.

Harsusanto said the company was expecting to be awarded the contract to construct the submarines.

PAL is currently working with Demen Schelde Naval Shipyard (DSNS) to build a new guided missile escort ordered by the Defence Ministry.

The Indonesian military (TNI) will require at least Rp57tn ($6.4bn) for weapons procurement in the next five years, according to the Jakarta Post.

Naval Technology

Defense ministry moves to increase budget

Minister of Defence Purnomo Yusgiantoro (middle) wear a "G Suit" before taking off on a Sukhoi SU 30 MK2 at squadron 11, Sultan Hasannudin airforce base, Makassar, on Monday (27/9). He was on air for 25 minutes to try the reliability of Russian made fighter jet. (Photo: ANTARA/pandu dewantara/kunto)

September 29, 2010, Jakarta - The Ministry of Defense has proposed that the government allocate an extra Rp 57 trillion (US$6.3 billion) over the coming five years to procure new arms and maintain war machines.

Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said on Wednesday the government could cover the deficit from the foreign exchange reserves, which currently reach $78 billion.

“We need endorsement from the finance minister. For the time being we are struggling to win the approval,” Purnomo said as quoted by kompas.com.

The National Development Planning Board had allocated Rp 100 trillion for defense budget for 2010-2014, down from Rp 157 trillion demanded by the Defense Ministry.

Purnomo dismissed the public’s worry about the use of the whopping defense budget, citing the multi-layer supervision of the budget use in place.

Indonesia plans to buy six more Sukhoi fighter jets from Russia and two submarines in the coming five years to boost its defense capability.

Accidents involving aging war machines were rampant in the last few years amid limited defense budget. One third of the budget used to be spent on soldiers’ salary and allowance.

The Jakarta Post

Minister : RI Plants to have 180 Sukhois in 10 Squadrons

(Photo: Indonesia Airforce)

September 27, 2010, Makassar, South Sulawesi - Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro has said that his ministry plans to have 180 Sukhois by developing 10 squadrons, to guard the country.

"To defend our country's sovereignty, we have set a target to have 180 Sukhoi jet fighters by developing 10 squadrons," Minister Purnomo, who was accompanied Chief of the Air Force Marshall Imam Sufaat, said here Monday.

Each squadron will have 18 Sukhois, he said.

The defense ministry in its strategic working plan has also to buy F-16 Fighting Falcons to replace Australia-made Hawks.

Indonesia is expected to acquire 180 Sukhois by 2024, according to the minister.

Russia has expressed its readiness to supply as many Sukhois as Indonesia needs, he said.

"With the improving national economic condition, it will help the government in acquiring weapons to strengthen the national defense," he said.

Three Russian-made Sukhoi jet fighter planes was expected to be handed over officially to Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro in Makassar, on Monday.

After the arrival of one unit of Sukhoi jet fighter, the Air Force's Squadron 11 at Hassanuddin airbase would have a fleet of 10 Sukhoi jet fighter planes imported from Russia.

Previously, on Friday (Sept 9), two Sukhois had arrived at the Air Force base in Makassar.

In 2003, Indonesia purchased two Sukhois of the SU-30 MK type and two of the SU-27SK type. Later, the Defense Ministry bought six Sukhois in 2007 worth US$300 million, or Rp2.85 trillion.

The six purchased Sukhois consisted of three SU-30MK2s and three SU-30SKM. Three SU-30MK2s arrived in Makassar in 2008 and 2009.

With the arrivals of three more Sukhois, Indonesia has one squadron of Sukhois.


Indonesia, Australia Hold Joint Terrorism Contra Exercise

(Photo: AP)

September 28, 2010, Jakarta - Military of Indonesia and Australia on Tuesday held a joint terrorism contra exercise at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali province, Kompas.com online news reported on Tuesday.

The exercise was conducted by Indonesia's Army Special Force ( Kopassus) and the Australian Special Air Service (SAS).

The exercise codenamed Dawn Komodo-10 involved six helicopters of Bolco 105, MI-17 and BEL 205 A1 as well as tactical vehicles.

Kopassus chief Maj. Gen. Lodewijk F Paulus said that the training was to apply technique and tactic of freeing hostages.

"This exercise is a method with real targets in a place where we never hold such exercise," said Paulus after the drill.

One of SAS leader Maj. Gen. Tim McOwen praised Kopassus who has ability in combating terrorism act in a short period of time.

"It is a pleasure to work with Kopassus as they are very professional," said McOwen.


New TNI commander vows to close military businesses

Indonesia's new Armed Forces Chief Adm. Agus Suhartono, left, pose for photographers with his predecessor Gen. Djoko Santoso, center, and new Navy Chief of staff Vice Adm. Suparno, right, after their swearing-in ceremony at the State Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010. (Photo: AP)

September 29, 2010, Jakarta - Newly-installed Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Adm. Agus Suhartono vowed Tuesday to carry on the TNI reforms, including speeding up efforts to terminate the military’s much-criticized involvement in business activities.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono installed the former Navy chief as military commander replacing Gen. Djoko Santoso at the State Palace on Tuesday. The Navy is now led by Vice Adm. Soeparno, who was inaugurated by Yudhoyono along with Agus.

Agus, who promptly secured the House of Representatives’ approval during a “fit-and-proper” test interview on Monday, is the second admiral to be appointed as military commander after Widodo Adi Sucipto, who served from 1999 to 2002 under former president Abdurrahman Wahid.

Before then, the TNI leadership was dominated by the army.

“The takeover of military businesses is now underway. We have been working on this,” Agus told reporters after his inauguration.

The Blitar-born admiral declined, however, to set a target as to when military business reforms would be completed, saying the task should not be carried out by the TNI alone.

“We have to work together to finish this,” he said.

Human rights groups and military analysts have long voiced concerns over the military’s businesses activities, which they say were the roots of many cases of human rights abuses and corruption.

The 2004 TNI Law imposes a five-year deadline for the government to take over all businesses owned and run directly or indirectly by the military.

But President Yudhoyono issued a decree five days before the expiry, postponing the target date for an unspecified period. The decree, mandating the setting up of a national team on military business takeovers, has been decried by rights groups
as inadequate for failure to dismantle the armed forces business network.

By 2007, the military had 23 foundations and more than 1,000 cooperatives as well as owning shares in 55 firms and leases on thousands of government properties.

Official data valued these gross assets at Rp 3.2 trillion (US$358 million) at the end of 2007 with annual profits of Rp 268 million.

Agus said the military was ready to help the police fight terrorism, but swiftly added their involvement should be in accordance with a regulation now being discussed at the National Antiterrorism Agency (BNPT).

“We are still deliberating the draft regulation. I hope there will be better synergy between the TNI and the National Police in the future,” he said.

The army’s special forces (Kopassus) the navy’s Detachment Jala Mangkara and the airforce’s Detachment Bravo have been prepared to combat terrorism.

“We have always been ready. It now depends on how we use them. We have the capability,” Agus was quoted as saying by Antara.

National Police chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri said last week that the police would involve the military in its fight against terrorism.

He made the statement following the brazen armed attack on the Hamparan Perak police station by unidentified gunmen who are believed to be members of a local terrorist network and also linked to recent bank robbery in Medan.

(The Jakarta Pos)

RI still to send Sukhoi pilots to China for training

Two Sukhoi Su-27SKM fighter jets are displayed during a handover ceremony at an airbase in Makassar, South Sulawesi province September 27, 2010. The Russian-made aircraft, included one other, are the last of ten SU-27 jets delivered to the Indonesia Air Force. (Photo: Reuters)

September 29, 2010, Beijing - Indonesia will continue training its Sukhoi pilots in China, Deputy Defense Minister Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin said here on Tuesday.

"Well, this has become part of the Air Force`s development program and so it will be continued," he said on the sidelines of his working visit.

He said China has a simulator for Sukhoi fighter jet pilots as it is also one of the aircraft`s users and now also starting to produce the Russian figher planes.

"Indonesia as a Sukhoi user certainly has an interest in developing its pilots. It so happens that China has a simulator for it and so we will take the opportunity," he said.

On a separate occasion, planning assistant to the Air Force chief of staff, Rear Marshal Erry Biatmoko, said the Indonesian Air Force still had no plan to send more Sukhoi pilots to China.

"No, we will not as yet send our pilots to China to improve their capability in operating Sukhois," he said.
Indonesia early in September 2010 strengthened its airforce with three more Sukhoi SU-27SKMs making the total number of the fighters to 10 of SU-30MK, SU-27SK, SU-30MKM and SU-27SKM. The last second are of the fourth Sukhoi generation.

With the additional units of Sukhoi however the Indonesian airforce will not as yet increase the number of its Sukhoi pilots.


The Indonesian airforce has earlier sent 16 Sukhoi pilots to improve their capability in China.