Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Hadi Tjahjanto, has asked the newly appointed Air Force Chief of Staff, Marshall Mohamad Tonny Harjono, to safeguard Malacca Strait and Natuna waters.

"The Indonesian Air Force should help ensure security in Malacca Strait since the region has yet to be freed from issues. Security in the North Natuna Sea should also be paid attention to," he said during Harjono's office takeover ceremony in Jakarta on Friday.

The Strait of Malacca has witnessed several problems, including the arrival of Rohingya refugees to Indonesia.

Tjahjanto noted that to tighten surveillance in Malacca Strait and Natuna waters, the Air Force needs to further enhance the capacity of its defense equipment.

He expressed optimism that by developing or acquiring more advanced radars, the Air Force would ensure a higher level of security in the two vital regions of Indonesia.

In addition to safeguarding the two waters, the minister also urged the new Air chief against relaxing aerial monitoring and surveillance in border regions.

"Pay special attention to Indonesian regions that share borders with Malaysia, Timor-Leste, and Papua New Guinea," he advised.

He then expressed the hope that Marshall Harjono and all soldiers in the Indonesian Air Force would continue to make the utmost efforts to fulfill their duties to fortify Indonesia's air borders.

The office takeover ceremony was also attended by the chief of the National Police (Polri), General Listyo Sigit Prabowo; Deputy Minister of Defense, Muhammad Herindra; Navy Chief of Staff, Admiral Muhammad Ali; and Army Chief of Staff, General Maruli Simanjuntak.

Earlier on the same day, President Joko Widodo inaugurated Marshall Harjono as the Air Force chief at the State Palace in Jakarta in place of Marshall Fadjar Prasetyo.

After his inauguration, Harjono said that the President has instructed him to lead the Air Force into becoming a stronger institution that consistently safeguards Indonesia's sovereignty.

"During my inauguration, Mr. President also demanded that the Air Force emerge powerful and adhere to the mandates outlined in Law No. 34 of 2004 concerning the TNI (Indonesian National Armed Forces)," he added.

He explained that the law tasks the Air Force with safeguarding Indonesia's air sovereignty, enforcing laws, and protecting Indonesia's airspace in compliance with national and international regulations.

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Translator: Walda M, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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