Subject: Indon Air Chief warns of foreign powers using E. Timor airstrips

BBC Worldwide Monitoring September 28, 2001 Source: Text of report by Indonesian radio on 27 September

Indonesia: Air chief warns of foreign powers using East Timor airstrips

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Hanafie Asnan said that the airborne threat from foreign countries must be dealt with, particularly in eastern Indonesia, because he did not rule out the possibility that airbase facilities in East Timor could be used to enhance foreign air power.

This was put forward by Hanafie because the number of airspace violations in Indonesian airspace was increasing. Here is Rifai's RRI correspondent report.

Rifai The number of violations into Indonesia's eastern airspace by foreign aircraft has been on the increase. This could indicate the possibility that several covert objectives exist. The chief of air staff warned in Bandung that this sort of threat must be dealt with because he did not rule out that they foreign air power would use airbases in Timor Lorosae to their advantage since the province was no longer part of Indonesia. He also explained that the airborne threat from foreign countries was not only posed by airborne assets based on the ground but also by low flying night flights by a "certain" type of aircraft. He added therefore that in anticipation of more airspace violations, the Indonesian Air Force must develop its air defence capability by upgrading Sector IV Air Defence Command and its radar stations in the eastern region. End of recording

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