Jakarta (ANTARA) - Chief of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto dispatched 41 TNI personnel of the Garuda RI Task Force to help put out the wildfires in neighboring Australia.

They departed for Australia aboard the Indonesian Air Force’s C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base, East Jakarta, on Saturday.

Assistance should be extended to Australia, Indonesia's neighbor, since it had time and again assisted Indonesia when it experienced natural disasters, the military commander stated.

"Hence, we should also provide assistance to Australia," he remarked.

From Halim Perdanakusuma, the aircraft flew to Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara Province, for fueling and would later proceed to Richmand, Australia.

"From there, they would depart by air or land, with assistance from the Australian government, towards the Irene district area," he said.

The Indonesian officers will assist the Australian Rural Fire Service in the second layer to open and clear access to residential areas and other lines within a safe radius of some five to 10 kilometers in the District of Eden, NSW, which is a hilly area, with asphalt roads.

The temperature over the past month has dropped to as low as nine degrees Celsius and the highest at 31 degrees Celsius.

"Today, the (Indonesian) Defense Attaché reported that the temperature is 41 degrees, so the (officers') equipment and clothing have to be adjusted to the temperature and the situation there," he added.

The Indonesian officers are expected to stay in Australia for a month, and their stay could be extended if needed. Related news: Australia fires destroy 68 homes


Translator: Syaiful Hakim, Fardah
Editor: Suharto
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