Air Force chief Air Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto, left, and Indonesian Military chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)

President Wants Air Force Chief to Lead Military


DECEMBER 04, 2017

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has sent a proposal to the House of Representatives to replace soon-to-be-retired Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo as chief of the Indonesian Military, or TNI, with current Air Force chief Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, a deputy House speaker said on Monday (04/12).

"This morning I received State Secretary Prof. Pratikno, who conveyed a letter from the president regarding the plan to respectfully discharge Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo and appoint Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto as the new chief of the military," Deputy House Speaker Fadli Zon said, as quoted by Antara news agency.

Fadli said the reason for the replacement is that Gatot should retire in early April at the latest, and the president wants the House to start the process and conduct a "fit an proper" test as soon as possible.

The politician of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) said the letter will be read out at the next plenary session of the House.

Analysts have repeatedly suggested that the new TNI chief should this time come from the Navy or Air Force, not again from the Army.

"These days, the Navy cannot operate without the Air Force … if we want to be the world's maritime leader, [our] Air Force should be strengthened," defense analyst Connie Rahakundini Bakrie said during a discussion on the replacement of the military chief, which was hosted by Setara Institute in Jakarta on Nov. 23.

Gatot is the second Army general in a row leading the country's military.

"It [the position] must be filled rotatively, now it's the Air Force's turn," said Al Araf, director of rights watchdog Imparsial, during the same discussion.

Hadi may become Indonesia's first military chief deriving from the Air Force.