Indonesian Army Unveils Three New Infantry Brigades PDF Afdrukken

The chief of the Army introduced three new infantry brigades on Tuesday as part of the government’s defense strategy, while the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries announced a three-pronged approach to develop the country’s maritime sector.

“The creation of these new infantry brigades is part of our defense strategy to maintain the country’s sovereignty. I hope these new headquarters become a source of pride for citizens living around them,” said Army Chief Lt. Gen. George Toisutta during the ceremony unveiling the brigades.

George said the new brigades were the 21 Komodo Infantry Brigade under the Denpasar-based Udayana military command, the 22 Ota Manasa Infantry Brigade under the First Division of the Army’s Strategic Command and the 24 Bulungan Cakti Infantry Brigade under the Balikpapan-based Tanjungpura military command in East Kalimantan.

The Udayana command covers Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara provinces, while the Tanjungpura command oversees security in four provinces of Kalimantan. The First Division of the Army’s Strategic Reserve Command is based in Depok, West Java.

Each brigade consists of about 300 soldiers.

George said the new brigades were intended to ensure security, both for the citizens living in the immediate surroundings of the headquarters and for Indonesia as a whole. He reminded all Army soldiers of the importance of good relations and cooperation with the community.

He said Indonesia was now living in a democracy where freedom of speech and differences of opinion must be respected.

“But remember that such differences must not become a reason for conflict and all Army members must bear that in mind when dealing with other soldiers or civilians,” he said.

The Armed Forces (TNI) earlier announced that it planned to establish a military command in West Kalimantan in 2010, while a study for one in Papua is expected to begin next year.

After his appointment to Army chief earlier this month, George said he would follow up on the military command proposals. All commands are designated in strategic areas around the country, he said.

Separately, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Fadel Muhammad said the government had drafted three policies to develop the country’s maritime sector.

First, the government will legislate to create a comprehensive and focused national policy.

Secondly, an economic blueprint will be written to maximize the potential of the country’s maritime resources. This is to be carried out with participation from coastal communities.

“The third is how to guarantee good governance in conducting programs in the maritime sector. It will be like a code of conduct for good practice in managing the sector,” said Fadel in his statement, which was read by Rear Admiral Sugiono during the 10th anniversary of the Naval Nusantara Day.

The Nusantara Day commemorates the Djuanda Declaration, which was signed on Dec. 13, 1957, by former Prime Minister Djuanda Kartawidjaja, which stated that all waters within the Indonesian archipelago were parts of Indonesian maritime territory.

Navy Spokesman First Admiral Iskandar Sitompul said the Navy would support any government plans to develop the country’s maritime sector.