Military


Indonesia Marine Corps (Korps Marinir - KorMar)

The Indonesian National Armed Forces comprises approximately 430,000 personnel including the Army, Navy (including the Indonesian Marine Corps - Korps Marinir TNI AL), and the Air Force. The Indonesian Army is by far the largest, with about 330,000 active-duty personnel, compared to around 75,000 in the Navy and 35,000 in the Air Force. The Indonesian armed forces are entirely voluntary. The Indonesian Marine Corps is administratively supported by the navy but operationally controlled by the chief of the armed forces. The Commander of Marine Corps is a two star Major General (Marine). The corps is equipped with tanks, armored fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, towed howitzers, multiple rocket launchers, and air defense guns.

As of 2010 the Marine had around 17,000 personnel, this condition making a joke in Indonesian military circles that, with the number of island in Indonesia also around 17,000 [making this country as the largest archipelago in the world], every Marine soldier must guarding one island in Indonesia. Kormar has the nickname as Sea Ghost, and wears a distinctive purple beret. This color comes from the Javanese legend that the regent of southern sea always uses purple color for dress.

Formed on 15 November 15, 1945, the corps is the main force in amphibious combat operations and, defensively, is the quick reaction forces in emergency situation to defend the beach fronts from enemy invasion. The Marine Corps (Kormar) are the Indonesian Navy's ground troops. The Marine Corps is one of the Indonesian Navy's main commands, equally with Eastern fleet, Western fleet, Navy Academy, Navy School of Command and Cross Sea Military Command.Officially, the Marine combat area is around 8 km from the beach because that's the main area for amphibious landed operations. If the marines needed to conduct operations further incland, its must be under the jurisdiction of the land task force commander.

During the period of confrontation [1963-65], the Indonesian naval capability increased in quality and quantity. The Marine Corps was reinforced by armoured and amphibious vehicles. In the aftermath of the abortive 1965 coup, however, the navy suffered a decline in influence within the armed forces and the nation because of suspected involvement in the coup attempt (particularly by the marine corps) and because of its small size in comparison with the army.

During the 1960s Kormar used KKO-AL (Navy Commando Unit) as their corps name but in 1975, KKO went back to using Marine Corps as their name. In 1991 the Corps was reported to number over 12,000 marines (organized into 2 infantry brigades of 6 battalions each), one administrative regiment, one combat support regiment, and one training regiment.By 1992 13,000 marines were organized into two brigades, one in Jakarta and the other in Surabaya, and were equipped with light tanks, armored personnel carriers, and antiaircraft guns. Some of the marine elements were believed occasionally to be attached to KOSTRAD in operational missions. The Marine Corps subsequently received amphibious vehicles from France.

By some accounts, in 1999 a plan was proposed to expand the Kormar from its strength of 13,000 troops. As of 2002 the Indonesian Marine Corps had approximately 15,000 personnel formed into Marine Headquarters, one division, one brigade, one training command, one anti terrorist detachment, two marine base commands, one marine hospital, six naval base defense battalions. In addition to increasing the number of weapons it already has, the Indonesian Navy also strengthened its marine corps' force by establishing the 8th and 9th Marine Infantry Battalions, the Marine 3rd Infantry Brigade and the 2nd Marine Troop.

In 2005 a plan was proposed to expand the Kormar from the existing strength of 17,000 personnel [some accounts relate that this plan was first proposed in 1999]. Based on this plan, by 2025 every Marine Division would have three combat brigades: the Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery, and would be supported by one Combat Support Regiment and one Administration Support Regiment. The expansion would create three Marine divisions: Surabaya for Eastern area command, Jakarta for Central area command, and Rate Island in Lampung for Western area command. Kormar also would have 2 independent marine brigades, 1 marine training command, 5 marine bases and 11 marine battalion for navy base defense. The expansion would increase the strength of Kormar to 70,000 personnel by 2025.

As of 2010 the Indonesian Marine Corps had an reported 20,000 troops [less "authoritative" sources report as many as 29,000 troops]. They are organized in two Marine Forces (PASMAR), or Marine Corps Groups, based in Surabay and Jakarta, each with three battalions, and one independent marine infantry regiment, with three batallions in Teluk, Rata and Sumatra. Other units include a Special Forces battalion, and an artillery regiment.

The Battalion Intai Amfibi (Taifib), formerly known as the Kompi Intai Para Amphibi (KIPAM), was formed on 18 March 1961 as marine commandos. The battalion was first used in the Irian Jaya in April 1962. Starting from November 1971 it was called Batalyon Intai Amphibi (Yon Taifib) or Amphibious Recon Battalion. All troops are two year veterans of the KOMAR who volunteer for the seven month commando training course. The training at the KIPAM training facility at Surabaya includes a month long airborne training course. Battalions are stationed in Jakarta and Surabaya Marine Base.

In addition to increasing the number of weapons it already has, the Indonesian Navy has also strengthened its marine corps' force by establishing the 8th and 9th Marine Infantry Battalions, the Marine 3rd Infantry Brigade and the 2nd Marine Troop. As of 2010 the Marine corps had 417 armored vehicle, but some 307 of the armored vehicle were over 30 years of age, 37 vehicles between 21-30 years and only 71 is a new vehicle between 1-10 years. A total of 35 Russian-made BMP-3F amphibious infantry fighting vehicles were deployed by the Indonesian Marines in 2010. These had been proposed to be ordered in late 2008, alongside a $1-billion loan package from Russia which was to include Mil helicopters and two Kilo-class submarines.


On July 10, 2008 U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Erick Wotulo, age 61, a citizen of the Republic of Indonesia, and a retired Indonesian Marine Corps General, to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and money laundering. According to the plea agreement, beginning in April 2006 Wotulo conspired with Haji Subandi, Haniffa Bin Osman and Thirunavukarasu Varatharasa to export state-of-the-art firearms, machine guns and ammunition, surface to air missiles, night vision goggles and other military weapons to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers) operating within Sri Lanka, to be used to fight against Sri Lankan government forces. The conspirators contacted an undercover business located in Maryland about the sale of military weapons. Wotulo and Subandi aided in the acquisition and proposed delivery of military technology to the Tamil Tigers, requesting price quotes, negotiating the purchases, and providing details of ocean routes for the transfer of the arms to the Tamil Tigers.




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