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KOSTRAD Army Strategic Reserve Command

KOSTRAD [Army Strategic Reserve Command], which has between 25,000 and 26,000 troops, supervises operational readiness among all commands and conducts defense and security operations at the strategic level in accordance with policies of the ABRI commander. KOSTRAD came into being when Indonesia was dealing with the liberation of West Irian in 1960, and was formally constitued on 06 March 1961. Initially designated the Army General Reserve Corps, its name was changed to KOSTRAD in 1963.

Major General Suharto (later Indonesian president) was the first to be entrusted with the position of PANGKOSTRAD [KOSTRAD Commander]. It was from his position as Kostrad commander, in fact, that Suharto organized resistance to the 1965 coup. Since then the powerful post has been filled by officers considered particularly loyal to Suharto. As of 01 April 1998 Lt. Gen. Prabowo Subianto [Suharto's son-in-law] was serving as commander of KOSTRAD. Suharto was ousted on 21 May 1999 amid mounting public pressure and large scale violent pro-reform riots. Soon thereafter Son-in-Law Prabowo was pushed out of his position as commander of KOPASSUS and reassigned to head the army's command and staff training college in Bandung.

During the New Order era, the KOSTRAD force has become increasingly visible. These green-beret troops have never been absent from the various military operations, such as G-30-S/PKI [30 September Movement/Indonesian Communist Party], Trisula, the PGRS [Sarawak People's Guerrilla Force] in Sarawak, the PARAKU [North Kalimantan People's Force] in North Kalimantan, and Operation Seroja in East Timor. KOSTRAD troops have also been relied on at the international level, as was the case with Garuda troops in Egypt (1973-78) and Vietnam (1973-75) and with those in the combined peace force in the midst of the Iran-Iraq war of 1989 and 1990.

In 1984 the PANGKOSTRAD became responsible to the ABRI commander for the conduct of combat operations, called defense and security operations. At present, KOSTRAD has a strength of some 35,000 to 40,000 army personnel with two infantry divisions: the 1st Division, headquartered at Cilodong, West Java, and the 2d Division, headquartered at Malang, East Java. Each of the divisions contains airborne and infantry brigades. KOSTRAD also includes a separate airborne brigade; one cavalry brigade; two field artillery regiments; and several combat support and service support units.

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Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood

Updated Monday, September 13, 1999 8:02:11 AM