Chief of the Region III Joint Command Lt.Gen Ganib Warsito led a military ceremony to honor the soldiers held at the Silas Papare Air Base in Sentani, Jayapura District, Papua, on Monday.
"The deaths of 12 soldiers tasked in Papua is a matter of deep grief for us. Their bodies were just found after eight months (of the accident)," Warsito stated.
As many as 12 people, including the crew members, were killed when an army helicopter M-17 crashed into the Mandala Mountains in Oksob, Pegunungan Bintang District, in June last year.
The helicopter went missing while flying to Okbibab from Oksibil to deliver supplies to soldiers stationed there.
Last week, the rescue team had located the debris of the helicopter. The bodies of the 12 victims were found among the wreckage. Bad weather and difficult terrain had hindered the efforts of the rescue team to find the location of the crash.
Warsito expressed gratitude to all parties that assisted the rescue team to locate and evacuate the victims.
The eight victims are Major CPN Aris Afik Novian (Pilot), Major CPN Bambang Saputra (Flight Engineer), Captain CPN Ahwar Affandi (Co-Pilot), Head Sergeant Suriatna Wijaya Kusuma (TI), Sergeant Dita Ilham Primojati (Avionic), Head Private Dwi Purnomo (mechanical), Private Asharul Mashudi (mechanical), and Second Private Tegar Hadi.
The Military chief has awarded them a posthumous promotion.
Seven of the bodies would be returned to Semarang in Central Java, while the body of one victim would be sent to Surabaya in East Java.
Four other bodies would be sent to their hometown on Tuesday (Feb 18).
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