The Indonesian Air Force has inaugurated a new airbase in Tarakan to improve monitoring and security over the Indonesian-Malaysian border.

The air base was built in response to the long-standing controversy between Indonesia and Malaysia over territory issues in the Ambalat region.

Jakarta has repeatedly complained that Malaysian warships have violated the Indonesian territory around Ambalat, accusations Kuala Lumpur denies.

The air force’s Second Operation Command air-vice marshall Yushan Sayuti said the airbase is now the outermost aerial defence unit in eastern Kalimantan and will help curb territory breaches helping to ease the Ambalat issue.

The air force will commission aircraft from Balikpapan Airbase to Tarakan.

The regional administration has invested Rp125bn for the development of the Tarakan base since 2007.

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