104 Explore | Interview INTERVIEW PURNOMO YUSGIANTORO HEADING TOWARDS INDEPENDENT DEFENCE Interview by Vikaria Lestari Photography by Hendra Wiradi Wahab With National Armed Forces Day falling on October 5, Indonesia’s Minister of Defence, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, spoke to Colours about the challenges and achievements of the nation’s Ministry of Defence and the positive growth of the country’s defence industry. Sixty-nine years ago, on October 5, 1945, Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI or the Indonesian National Armed Forces) was founded, then known as Tentara Keamanan Rakyat (The People’s Army) and born from Badan Keamanan Rakyat (the People’s Security Corps), a civil defence force established to ensure security and unity across the newly declared independent Indonesia. Today, threats against ideological, political, socioeconomic and security facets of Indonesia are often subtle and increasingly complex in this fast-paced era of globalisation, and this is a challenge that TNI must face. In carrying out its duties in this modern age, TNI requires not only the support of skilled and professional servicemen and servicewomen, but also the support of advanced defence systems and primary weaponry and defence systems. Establishing and maintaining a defence system that is independent from other countries and independent in its procurement process is vital in creating a fully capable and selfreliant military force.