TNI chief sends off KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda to Lebanon

TNI chief sends off KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda to Lebanon

KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda-367 in Tanjung Priok port, Jakarta, Tuesday (Sept. 6). (ANTARA/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - National Defense Forces (TNI) Commander Admiral Agus Suhartono on Tuesday saw off the Navy`s warship KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda at its departure for Lebanon to join the UN peacekeeping force there.

On the occasion, Admiral Agus Suhartono reminded the ship`s crew and other military personnel on the ship of the importance of respecting human rights and acting according to the standard operating procedures and rules of engagement set by the Maritime Task Force of the UN Interim Force in Lebaonon (MTF-UNFIL).

The KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda-367 is the third warship Indonesia has sent to Lebanon to participate in the MTF-UNIFIL after the KRI Diponegoro-365 and the KRI Frans Kasiepo-368.

Agus said the task the warship`s crew and soldiers were facing was not light because of its political and strategic dimensions from the viewpoint of Indonesia`s regional as well as international credibility.

The KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda is commanded by Lt Col Agus Hariadi, a class-1982 graduate from the Naval Academy and carries one BO-105 NV-414 helicopter.

TNI spokesman Rear Admiral Iskandar Sitompul said the ship would be in Lebanon for six months from November 2011 to May 2012.

"After that it will be replaced by another KRI if the UN still needs one," he said.

The KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda carries 100 soldiers consisting of 33 officers, 48 non-commissioned officers and 19 lower ranking non-commissioned personnel.

In Lebanon, the Indonesian contingent would share peace-keeping duties with forces from other countries such as Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Turkey under MTF-UNIFIL commander Rear Admiral Luiz Henrique Caroli of Brazil.

Bangladesh has two ships, Germany three, and Greece, Indonesia and Turkey one each in MTF-UNIFIL.

The task of the MTF-UNIFIL is among others preventing smuggling of weapons into Lebanon and giving the Lebanese navy training to improve its professionalism and capability.
(T.R018/H-YH/HAJM/B003)

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