TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Air Force commander Air Marshal Agus Supriatna said the Natuna Air Force base was designed to become an integrated military base.
“We aspire to turn Natuna Air Force base into an integrated military base. The Pearl Harbor of Indonesia,” said Agus on Friday, November 20.
According to Agus, Natuna Air Force base is still type-C and will be upgraded to type-B commanded by a colonel.
Agis said the Defense Ministry had allocated more than Rp200 billion to strengthen Natuna Air Force base and it is expected to finish in 2016.
The strengthening of the base is needed since it is located near the strategic shipping line and can also be used to monitor border security with other countries.
“If there were any claimants, Indonesia would be there as a third party to maintain security,” he said.
Pearl Harbor at Oahu Island, Hawaii, US, is located far from US main soil. Natuna Island is also located near the South China Sea which has been claimed and disputed by China for years.
So, Natuna Islands becomes critical for Indonesia in dealing with the situations in South China Sea.