Public support paramount to making TNI stronger

Public support paramount to making TNI stronger

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inspect the troops during a ceremony commemoration 70th anniversary of the Indonesian Armed Forces in Cilegon, Banten, on Monday (October 5, 2015). (ANTARA/Yudhi Mahatma/P003)

I hope the TNI can maintain togetherness with the people as their power is the power of the military."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) led a ceremony in Cilegon, Banten Province, on Monday to mark the 70th anniversary of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI).

Themed "Together With People, TNI Becomes Strong, Great, Professional, and Ready to Realize an Independent and Sovereign Indonesia," the TNI anniversary this year is enlivened by sea combat demonstrations of war, shooting, invasion by tanks, combat jumps, and a sailing pass with combat formations.

Two Air Force jet fighters --- Sukhoi 27 and Sukhoi 30 --- demonstrated a short-range air combat, or "dogfight" to commemorate the TNI anniversary this year.

According to TNI Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo, the military deployed troops, combat vehicles, combat aircraft, and warships in land, sea, and air demonstrations to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the TNI.

"Never before since TNIs inception has it performed land, sea, and air demonstrations at a single location like it has done this year to mark its 70th anniversary," General Nurmantyo remarked.

He expressed hope that the TNI anniversary commemoration this year would offer the right momentum to improve the professionalism, discipline, and fighting spirit of the TNI soldiers in securing and maintaining the sovereignty of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

"The theme of the anniversary this year reflects the intentions, determination, patriotic spirit, and professionalism of the TNI soldiers to act and function better, with improved professionalism and capacity within the framework of the NKRI," the TNI chief noted.

While addressing TNIs 70th anniversary event, President Jokowi affirmed that the TNI was born from the people and must assert its identity as the peoples army.

"History has recorded that the TNI was born out of the people. The great Commander General Sudirman stated that the relationship between the TNI and the people was akin to that of fish and water. Fish will not live without water. It is the people who conceived, cared for, and raised the TNI," the president remarked.

He further reiterated that the TNI must affirm its identity as the army of the people; and to this end, the TNI should not forget the people, should not hurt the sentiments of the people, and should not stay away from the people.

"It is only by staying together with the people that the military can become strong in its duty and devotion to the nation and will be respected by other nations in the world," President Jokowi stated.

Besides this, the head of state said the TNI also has the identity of being combat soldiers, with willpower and unyielding spirit, to make the NKRI a sovereign and independent nation.

The head of state further asserted that the TNI has an important role and responsibility in various fields to maintain the integrity of the NKRI.

Jokowi noted that with a fighting spirit, the military must be able to maintain the sovereignty and integrity of the NKRI.

"The TNI should be able to confront those who illegally exploit our marine resources and fisheries. The TNI must be able to secure the border areas and the outer islands," he said, adding that the military should not be bound by race, religion, and class.

The TNI is one, the Armed Forces, which can stand united, irrespective of class, to defend personal and group interests as well as to unite different races, ethnicities, and religions in realizing the ideals of independence.

The president pointed out that Indonesia is currently facing challenges not only in the fields of politics, economy, and security but also in the management of diversity and pluralism.

Jokowi emphasized that diversity and pluralism have to be maintained.

"Several nations in the world have to face the fate of history and are divided and scattered as they are not able to maintain plurality. This should not happen in our motherland, Indonesia," Jokowi remarked.

The president stated that diversity, differences, and plurality should not become the source of conflicts but should complement each other to make Indonesia a great nation.

In light of this, President Jokowi has called on the TNI soldiers to continue to improve their abilities and professionalism to maintain Indonesias sovereignty.

"I urge all TNI soldiers to constantly improve their abilities, professionalism, and readiness to handle every condition in any area," Jokowi stated.

"I hope the TNI can maintain togetherness with the people as their power is the power of the military," the president emphasized, adding that the soldiers must honor the Sapta Marga regulation and the oath.

In the meantime, House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Agus Hermanto has urged all parties to continue to support the TNI, particularly to acquire sophisticated weaponry systems.

"All parties must work together to provide strong support to the TNI in order to have sophisticated and modern weaponry systems," Hermanto remarked at the Parliament building on Monday.

He noted that the TNI required sophisticated and modern weaponry systems to help secure the country.

"We hope the TNI can become more advanced, powerful, swift, and ready to maintain the security of the NKRI, Hermanto affirmed.