"Today, Indonesia is proud of not only our athletes` achievements at the Asian Games and the 30 gold medals they have earned as of today but also of dispatching Garuda Indonesia to join the peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Lebanon," he remarked at the Indonesia National Defense Forces Peacekeeping Center in Sentul, West Java.
The peacekeeping force comprises the Rapid Deployment Battalion (RDB) Task Force of the Garuda Contingent XXXIX-A Congo for the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) and the Marine Task Force (MTF) of the Garuda contingent XXVIII-K for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
The RDB Task Force of the Garuda Contingent XXXIX-A for MONUSCO has a total of 850 soldiers, including 22 women. The soldiers comprising 644 from the Army, 135 from the Navy, and 71 from the Air Force will be dispatched by plane.
The MTF for UNIFIL has a total of 120 naval personnel, who will be dispatched by Indonesian warship KRI Sultan Hasanuddin to replace 120 personnel currently assigned in the Mediterranean Sea.
"Today, Indonesia is proud of contributing to the maintenance of world peace and order. This is the mandate of our Constitution as the manifestation of Indonesia`s contribution to the world to make the good reputation of our nation and state famous," he emphasized.
He said the Garuda contingent began joining the UN-led peacekeeping mission in Sinai in 1957, more than a decade after Indonesia had proclaimed its independence.
On the occasion, President Jokowi, TNI Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, Commander of PMPP TNI Brigadier General Victor H. Simatupang, and Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi took a group photo along with members of the Garuda contingents for Congo and Lebanon.
Since 1957, Indonesia has dispatched more than 38 thousand soldiers to join the UN-led peacekeeping missions.
Indonesia is one of the 10-largest countries sending peacekeeping troops.
With the dispatch of 3,552 personnel on Friday, Indonesia has reached 88.3 percent of its target to send four thousand personnel to join the UN-led peacekeeping mission.
"I instruct (all relevant sides) to achieve the target of four thousand personnel soon. What also makes us proud is that the Garuda contingent will use domestic strategic products in performing their duties," he noted.
Reporting by Desca Lidya Natalia
Editing by Suharto