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72 years of the Indonesian Army Special Forces Command

Jakarta, IO – The Army Special Forces Command of the Indonesian Armed Forces (Kopassus) turned 72 on April 16, 2024. As stated on its official Instagram account @penkopassus, the 72nd Kopassus anniversary in 2024 raised the theme “Serving with Honor, the True Protectors of Sovereignty”. 

“Today, April 16, 2024, Kopassus celebrates its 72nd anniversary. Its fighting spirit never wanes. Its dedication to the nation and state never fades,” captioned Kopassus on its account (Apr 16). 

Kopassus was founded following a number of outbreaks of treason or rebellions by separatists, such as the RMS (Republic of South Maluku). 

To suppress these, Army leadership took immediate action by appointing Colonel A.E. Kawilarang Commander of the Territorial III Army leader, and Lt. Col. Slamet Riyadi as Operations Commander. 

In this operation, Indonesian soldiers successfully subdued the RMS separatist group. On Apr 16, 1952, through an instruction from the Commander of the Army and Territory III No.55/Instr/PDS/52, the first Army Special Forces unit, called Territorial Command Unit III/Siliwangi (Kesko TT), was formed. 

This unit was led by Maj. Moch. Idjon Djanbi, a former captain of the KNIL (Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger) and a former Speciale Troopen Corps during World War II. 

From time to time, this Special Forces unit changed its name, from the Army Commando Corps (KKAD), the Army Commando Regiment (RPKAD), the Army Commandos (PKAD), the Army Special Forces Center (Puspassus AD), the Sandi Yudha Troop Command (Kopassandha) and, finally, the Army Special Forces Command (Kopassus). 

Kopassus also played a crucial role in overcoming PRRI/Permesta and other military operations. These include Operation Trikora, Operation Seroja (East Timor), Operation to Release Hostages (DC-0 Woyla Garuda Indonesia), Liberation of the Sinar Kudus Ship (Somalia) and so on. 

Kopassus always actualizes itself, not only through a rotation of commanders but also through an upgrade in science and technology. 

“Let us develop Kopassus earnestly. Give to the best of our abilities. Make Kopassus a professional, adaptive and modern force that is built upon faith and devotion to God Almighty,” said Commander-general of Kopassus Maj. Gen. Djon Afriandi, during the handover from his predecessor, Maj. Gen. Deddy Suryadi, on Mar 8, as quoted on the Kopassus website. 

“The core priority is to continue what is already good. We must be professional, adaptive to current developments and must follow technological development, because Kopassus soldiers are expected to be modern,” he continued. 

“However, being professional, adaptive and modern does not suffice for Kopassus soldiers. We expect them to have strong faith and devotion, so that they might have a great character. These will support their professionalism, adaptability and ability to use all modern technology properly and effectively,” he added. 

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Hadi Tjahjanto asked Kopassus to increase soldiers’ professionalism further, as the Special Forces turned 72. 

“With its advancing years, (Kopassus) must continue to increase the professionalism of its command soldiers through training, training and training,” said Hadi, when wishing Kopassus a happy 72nd anniversary in a video uploaded to his Instagram account @hadi.tjhajanto on Tuesday, as quoted by Antara. 

Hadi, who once served as the Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces, is firm in his belief that Kopassus has secured many achievements and completed important state missions. 

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Hadi praised Kopassus for becoming one of the most respected special forces in the world. He hoped the achievements in perfectly completing the mission could grow as a culture in Kopassus. 

Hadi reminded all Kopassus soldiers to always give their best in protecting the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia. 

“Happy 72nd anniversary to all Kopassus soldiers and big family wherever they are, and to those on duty. Remember that your stealth is your virtue. Be brave, be true and make it, Command!” Hadi concluded in his congratulatory video. 

Long live Kopassus! (rp)

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