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Training Garuda Contingent to keep the peace

Training Garuda Contingent to keep the peace

Commander of the Garuda Contingent Rapid Deployable Battalion for MONUSCO, Colonel Inf. Daniel Lumbanraja, receives a firearm from a reconciled militia group member in Tanganyika, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on June 25, 2020. (ANTARA/HO-Puspen TNI)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - "Fly the Red and White, maintain the peace and security of the world."

The message was conveyed by the sixth Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), after inaugurating the three symbols of world peace in Sentul, Bogor, West Java, on August 19, 2014.

Indonesia has remained committed to participating in efforts to maintain global security based on independence, perpetual peace, and social justice, as stipulated in the fourth paragraph of the 1945 Constitution.

In keeping with the Constitutional commitment, Indonesia has made several contributions to world peace, such as sending troops for United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping operations.

In May 2022, UN Peacekeeping placed Indonesia eighth among the top ten countries contributing personnel to the world peacekeeping mission. The number of personnel sent by Indonesia has reached 2,674 so far.

It is undeniable that this achievement has resulted from the hard work of Indonesian soldiers who underwent training at the Indonesian Army National Peacekeeping Mission Center (TNI PMPP) on Anyer Street, Tangkil village, Sentul, Bogor.

The green landscape at TNI PMPP bears witness to the soldiers' ambitions to maintain peace, not only in the country, but the world.

The gusts of wind here fan the fighting spirit of soldiers who are ready to leave the country to uphold Indonesia's global reputation in peacekeeping.

It was here that the Garuda troops were raised to maintain world peace under the Red and White banner.

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TNI PMPP establishment

Former President Yudhoyono inaugurated the Indonesia Peace and Security Center (IPSC) in Sentul, West Java, on April 7, 2014—a few months before the inauguration of the three symbols of world peace.

It was hoped that the IPSC establishment would help Indonesia make a greater contribution to maintaining world security and order.

The construction of the IPSC, which is located on Merah Putih Hill, Sentul, began in 2011 on an area of 261,569 hectares with an allocated fund of Rp1.643 trillion for 2010 and 2011.

IPSC has seven main facilities, including the TNI PMPP, the TNI Operations Alert Force Command Headquarters, the Indonesian Defense University, and the Indonesian Military Sports Committee.

Furthermore, it houses a Counter-Terrorism and Deradicalization Training Center and a Disaster Mitigation Education and Training Center.

A Center for Strategy Development and Language Diplomacy of the Language Development and Fostering Agency has also been provided for Garuda Troops, who are also known as the Garuda Contingent (Konga).

For managing IPSC as a national strategic installation, a joint agreement was signed by the Defense Ministry, the Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry, the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT), and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

So far, the vigor of parties involved in the IPSC has remained. From July 18–31, 2022, one of the world's largest annual international peacekeeping field exercises was held by the TNI PMPP.

The joint exercise named the “2022 Garuda Canti Dharma II” was sponsored by the US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) and the TNI. Approximately 70 US and 420 TNI personnel participated in the exercise, along with approximately 350 personnel from other nations.

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A directive from TNI Commander General

As the national military leader, TNI Commander General Andika Perkasa expressed full support and high commitment to TNI's involvement in world peacekeeping missions.

Perkasa not only highlighted the strength of the Garuda Contingent, but also emphasized the importance of female soldiers' participation in peacekeeping efforts.

The attention of the Commander General was reflected in his order to involve more female TNI soldiers in the Garuda Contingent World Peacekeeping Task Force (Konga) for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) 2022.

Perkasa said that many female TNI soldiers are outstanding, but are not given enough opportunities to join the troops, especially the Garuda Contingent Rapid Deployable Battalion.

The commander's order showed that he intends to provide the widest opportunity for female TNI soldiers, especially those who excel in their job, to be a part of the Garuda Contingent.

Perkasa also asked the Garuda Contingent selection committee to provide an equal opportunity to all TNI soldiers by easing the requirements, such as by removing several conditions, including proficiency in spoken English.

According to him, English proficiency is not an urgent requirement, except for certain positions.

Tasks and challenges

It is important to note that peacekeeping missions are not limited to armed conflicts. Keeping the peace is a complex task that covers many issues, such as social welfare, law and order, and the rights of women and children.

Therefore, the Garuda Contingent is not only trained in knowledge of warfare, as their assignment is not only to protect civilians from conflicts.

The peacekeepers are also tasked with preventing conflicts, building institutions related to the rule of law and security, prioritizing political solutions in resolving conflicts, enforcing human rights, promoting the rights of women and young people, and providing operational assistance in the area of operation.

All TNI soldiers who are members of the Engineers Company (Kompi Zeni) Task Force of the Garuda Contingent XX-S / MONUSCO (United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in Congo) have undergone training to face various challenges in the field, including cultural and work pattern differences.

However, for the soldiers, there are only two things to focus on: “fighting, and keep fighting.”

Related news: Indonesia, US launch Garuda Canti Dharma 2022 peacekeeping exercise
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