Indonesia needs Leopard tanks to secure borders: Mily commander

Indonesia needs Leopard tanks to secure borders: Mily commander

Major General TNI Dicky Wainal Usman and his staff of command. (ANTARA Kaltim)

Minimally a company of Leopards (eight tanks) could be stationed in Kalimantan."
Banjarbaru, South Kaliamantan (ANTARA News) - A regional military commander has called for deploying Leopard battle tanks to protect Indonesias borders in Kalimantan.

Major General Dicky Wainal Usman, the commander of the 6th Mulawarman Military Command, said here on Saturday that Kalimantans security was vulnerable because it borders Malaysian and Singapore.

"Illegal logging, illegal mining and poaching of fish still happens in the border areas. People from outside seem to want to swallow the areas around our borders. With the presence of the Leopards, it is hoped enemies would be discouraged," he said, while meeting with journalists from Jakarta at the Infantry 623 Battalion Command headquarters in Sungai Ulin, Banjarbaru city.

General Usman added that tanks would help strengthen the weapons used by the regional military command.

"Minimally a company of Leopards (eight tanks) could be stationed in Kalimantan," he said.

In the near future, the regional military command is to receive a Multi-Launcher Rocket System. Meanwhile, an army air squadron has also been formed and strengthened by four fighter helicopters and four transport helicopters.

Right now, General Usman said, the Mulawarman military command has set up a cavalry battalion, noting that it used to have only one cavalry detachment.

He added that the military command has also increased the number of joint posts with Malaysia to prevent moving of border signs and to drive off illegal loggers working in Malaysia.

The Mulawarman regional military command is responsible for securing Nunukan, which borders Malaysia.

Dicky said the border area is quite vulnerable, adding that the command recently arrested 11 methamphetamine traffickers.

"As evidence, we confiscated 6.6 grams of methamphetamine and cash worth Rp2.6 billion. The money is believed to have come from meth transactions," he said.

In view of these findings, Dicky said joint operations had also been performed with the police and prosecutors office since large quantities of narcotic drugs are believed to pass through the border area.

"They generally camouflage themselves as fishermen and brought the drugs through the rivers," he said. ***2***

(Reporting by Syaiful Hakim/H-YH/INE/KR-BSR)