Let op: dit artikel komt uit Indonesische bron!!!



The Special Forces Command (Kopassus) unit is an elite army force that is ready to be deployed wherever needed. In addition to combat capabilities, the Indonesian Army’s red berets have a wide range of experience outside the battlefield.

Iwan Santosa and EA Natanegara in their book “Kopassus Untuk Indonesia” (Kopassus for Indonesia) tell the story of Lieutenant Second Class Gondolpus Borlak, when he served in Papua and became a friend of residents in the region.

It is said that at that time Papua still lagged in the field of development. Many Papuans still live traditionally, even living in the forests, which meant they do not know the existence of the Republic of Indonesia.

Under these conditions, Kopassus members were sent to Papua with the aim of maintaining the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia. This task is carried out by Kopassus soldiers by taking up arms and winning the hearts of Papuans.

Therefore, Kopassus soldiers must first introduce the Republic of Indonesia before instilling the spirit of nationalism in Papuans.

For the effort to succeed, Kopassus soldiers must be able to blend in with the community using a traditions-based approach. However, this strategy is not easy to implement because separatist groups are always stalking them. Kopassus soldiers understand that the main key is to win the hearts of citizens through good communication, finding common ground, as well as mutual respect and caring.

Lieutenant Gondolpus Borlak was one of the soldiers assigned to the Timika post, Papua, in 1996 with the aim of winning the sympathy of the Papuan people and building information networks in each sub-district. During his service in Papua, according to Borlak, the lives of the Papuan people were still lagging behind.

“There are people in the interior who have never reached Merauke. There are also those who have never seen what a physical car looks like. Not only that, it is also the case even now,” said Borlak.

Borlak and his colleague Colonel Pomiman Basuki worked tirelessly to restore the image of the Republic of Indonesia to the Papuan people in a good way.

“The important thing is that we can create a good living atmosphere in the midst of society, so that people recognize Indonesia as their country,” Borlak said.

While in Papua, Borlak did not hesitate to mingle and follow local customs, so that people easily accepted Borlak because they were thought to understand the culture of Papuans. This is also supported by Borlak’s background as a former Catholic teacher, the religion of the majority of Timika residents.

However, that does not mean that only Christians can be accepted by Papuans. Borlak tells the story of a Kopassus Muslim soldier who successfully blended into the local community in Papua.