Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) wants the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) to grow stronger in implementing its mandate to safeguard Indonesia's sovereignty, according to Air Force Chief of Staff Marshal Mohamad Tonny Harjono.

"The president wants a strong Air Force. It does not mean we want to scare enemies nor wage war against neighboring countries," Harjono stated after his inauguration as Air Force Chief of Staff at the Presidential Palace here on Friday.

"A strong Air Force means it can maintain regional stability, security, and peace," he emphasized.

Harjono spoke of having committed to continuing policies implemented by predecessors and evaluating activities that are proceeding well.

"Mr President also said that the Air Force should be powerful and adhere to mandates of Law No. 34 of 2004 on TNI," the marshal stated.

He explained that according to the law, the Indonesian Air Force should implement and safeguard Indonesia's aerial sovereignty, enforce laws, and maintain Indonesia's aerial jurisdiction set by national and international laws.

"TNI-AU is also required to develop air force capabilities and bolster our aerial potential. These are what Mr President told me," Harjono remarked.

Harjono also said that he viewed his new office as a huge mandate given by the president that should be carried out fully and responsibly.

"I also appealed for the Indonesian people to pray for me who, as of today, becomes the 24th Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Air Force," he remarked.

President Jokowi, on Friday, inaugurated Harjono as the new Air Force Chief of Staff to replace the previous officeholder, Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo, who has entered retirement age.

Presidential Decision No. 20/TNI/2024, signed in Jakarta on March 25, 2024, is the legal basis for Harjono's induction as chief of staff.

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Translator: Andi F/Mentari DG, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
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