Indonesia: Govt Builds Military Training Center

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:

The Defense Ministry is currently building a Four in One Military Training Center in a 260-hectare area in Sentul, Bogor, West Java. The location will be used to train peace-corps, disaster-alert, anti-terrorist and armed troops.

“This will become a source of pride for Indonesia. In 2011, one stage will hopefully be completed,” said defense strategy director general Maj. Gen. Puguh Santoso, in a press release yesterday.

According to Puguh, the training center is projected to be finished before the end of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s term in 2014. The project will be funded by the Defense Ministry.

Puguh said the training center could also be used by ASEAN countries sending troops to UN peace missions. The antiterrorism teams will be trained by the US and the disaster-alert troop will be prepared 24 hours a day to go to disaster areas.

PT Garuda CEO, Emirsyah Satar, yesterday handed over two 737/400 airplanes to the Indonesian Air Force at the Halim Perdana Kusuma Air Base, Jakarta. The two used planes with a 130-passenger capacity will add to the fleet, comprising Hercules, Fokker 28, and B-737/200. According to the Indonesian Air Force chief of staff, Marshall Imam Sufaat, the planes are big enough and can be used for carrying troops.

Italy has also offered a C27J Spartan carrier. Yesterday, the Italian Air Force sent one C27J Spartan to Halim to promote it. The plane had just participated in an airshow in Avalone, Melbourne, Australia. “The Indonesian Air Force is in need of a carrier,” said Indonesian Air Force’s spokesperson, Marshall Bambang Samoedro.

The C27J is a medium-sized military carrier developed by Lockheed Martin Alenia Tactical Transport System from the US. It can be used to carry troops or goods, carry out parachute operations and patrols. “The plane is better than a Fokker,” said Bambang.

In Bandung, PT Dirgantara Indonesia CEO, Budi Santoso, said the Indonesian Air Force was looking at buying an MK II EC 725 helicopter, produced by France’s Eurocopter, this year.

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