November 5, 2006
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Indonesian Military (TNI) heavy
vehicles and equipment left Jakarta for Lebanon on a U.S.-flagged
ship Saturday ahead of the dispatch of 850 troops to join the
U.N. peacekeeping mission.
The U.S. Embassy said in statement
that the cooperation represented renewed military-to-military
cooperation between the two countries.
The TNI vehicles and gear, 200 items
in all, painted bright white with the U.N. attributes, were
loaded aboard SS Wilson, a U.S.-flagged ship hired for
the mission by the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC).
Later this month, 850 Garuda XXIIIA
troops are due to arrive in Lebanon to meet up with the
equipment and join the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
(UNIFIL). Indonesia will join 20 other nations comprising
The equipment consisted of armored
personnel carriers, five-ton trucks, trailers, patrol vehicles,
ambulances, construction equipment, water tanks, and shipping
containers containing various supplies.
The statement said personnel from the
U.S. Army's Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC)
orchestrated the advance planning with TNI.
"We've been working with the
Indonesian Military for several weeks to coordinate the
arrival of equipment at the port as well as to develop a plan
to load it aboard the vessel," SDDC Commander Lt. Col.
Colice Powell said as quoted in the embassy statement.
The departure of Indonesian
peacekeeping troops has been delayed several times with UNFIL
citing technical problems in Lebanon.
Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim
nation, was quick to support the UN plan for an international
peacekeeping force to enforce a cease-fire between Israel and
Initially, Israel objected to
Indonesia's participation in the peacekeeping mission on the
grounds that the two countries do not have diplomatic
relations. Indonesia has from the outset said it would refuse
to disarm Hizbollah guerrillas.
Wilson is a break-bulk vessel
belonging to Sealift, Inc. of Long Island, New York. The ship
is solely for U.S. government use, and most recently delivered
grain to Mombasa, Kenya for the U.S. Agency for International
Development, the statement said.
The 185 meter, 32,000-ton Wilson
will make the 5,690 mile journey to Beirut.