TNI Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo according to written information received in Jakarta today, bid farewell to the soldiers joining the haze disaster mitigation task force at Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base in East Jakarta on Thursday.
Nurmantyo remarked that the TNI soldiers will be assigned to extinguish land and forest fires in the districts of Musi Banyuasin and Ogan Komering Ilir in South Sumatra province.
"This is a noble task to save the forest ecosystem and the community. We need to work together to deal with this disaster," he emphasized.
The TNI chief instructed the soldiers to scour the forest areas in their efforts to locate hotspots. He also urged them to not give up and to continue performing their duties.
"I urge every member of the task force to comb the forest areas to find hotspots. Giving up is not part of TNI's character," he affirmed.
The dispatch of soldiers to South Sumatra came four days after President Joko Widodo inspected the preparations to mitigate the haze disaster in the province on Sunday.
During the visit to South Sumatra, the president was accompanied by TNI Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo, National Police Chief General Badrodin Haiti, and Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Board (BNPB) Syamsul Maarif.
The BNPB earlier stated that land and forest fires had affected the provinces of South Sumatra, Riau, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan during this years drought.