Indonesian Navy Hospital Assistance Fleet: Extending a Lifeline to Gaza

Indonesian Navy Hospital Assistance Fleet: Extending a Lifeline to Gaza

In a heartfelt demonstration of unwavering support and humanitarian commitment, the Indonesian government, under the leadership of Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, has taken a proactive stance by preparing to dispatch a hospital assistance ship to the waters near Gaza, Palestine. The mission's primary objective is to provide essential medical treatments to Palestinian refugees grappling with the dire consequences of the ongoing regional crisis.

This decision to deploy the hospital assistance ship underscores Indonesia's dedication to assisting those affected by the devastating conflict, further emphasizing the nation's role as a compassionate global partner. Minister Subianto has clearly articulated the government's intentions during a recent statement, emphasizing the need for cooperation with neighboring nations, particularly Egypt, to secure the necessary approvals for this vital mission. The Indonesian government stands ready to collaborate with Egyptian authorities in this humanitarian endeavor.

The Indonesian Armed Forces, steadfast in their commitment to extending a helping hand to those in need, are poised to send a hospital assistance ship that will remain on standby in the region to provide more assistance as required. This proactive approach aligns with Indonesia's core values of compassion and solidarity with those suffering from the consequences of the ongoing conflict.

This significant humanitarian mission follows a pivotal meeting between Minister Subianto and Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia, Zuhair Al Shun. During this meeting, the Defense Minister conveyed Indonesia's steadfast readiness to assist the victims of war and conflict in Palestine, sending a powerful message of solidarity and compassion to those enduring the harrowing effects of the conflict.

President Joko Widodo, standing in solidarity with Minister Subianto, has reinforced Indonesia's commitment to aid Palestine. This commitment was underscored as the President accompanied the Defense Minister in the send-off of the first batch of Indonesian humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza. This initial aid delivery includes crucial supplies such as food, medical equipment, blankets, tents, and other logistics, all of which are direly needed by the people of Gaza.

President Widodo's statement, "The humanitarian tragedy in Gaza is unacceptable and must be put to an end as soon as possible," underscores the urgency and gravity of the situation. The humanitarian aid, weighing a substantial 51.5 tons, was dispatched via three aircraft, two of which are C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Indonesian Air Force, with the third being a Boeing 737 plane chartered by the National Police (Polri). This mission involves the deployment of 42 flight crew members and two officials from the Defense Ministry, entrusted with the crucial responsibility of delivering this vital assistance. The three aircraft departed from Jakarta and will traverse multiple countries before reaching their destination in El Ashir, Egypt.

In Egypt, the aid will be handed over to the country's Red Crescent, a trusted humanitarian organization. From there, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) will facilitate the safe and efficient delivery of this much-needed aid to Gaza, offering a ray of hope to the suffering population.

Indonesian Navy Hospital Assistance Fleet: Extending a Lifeline to Gaza

Central to this mission is the Indonesian Navy Hospital Assistance Fleet, comprising three remarkable ships: KRI Dr. Soeharso-990, KRI Dr. Wahidin Sudirohusodo-991, and KRI Dr. Radjiman Wedyodiningrat-992. These ships are equipped with state-of-the-art medical facilities and are staffed by highly qualified medical personnel. They play a vital role in providing medical care to the Indonesian people, particularly those residing in remote areas.

The Indonesian Navy Assistance Hospital Fleet is proficient in offering a wide range of medical services, including emergency medicine, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, cardiology, oncology, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, and dentistry. These ships are equipped to perform complex medical procedures, such as open-heart surgery and organ transplants. Furthermore, their inclusion of helicopters allows them to evacuate patients from remote areas to specialized medical facilities, ensuring timely and critical medical support.

Moreover, the ships possess additional features that make them well-suited for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. They are equipped with water desalination plants, reverse osmosis systems, and sewage treatment facilities, enabling them to operate independently without the need for shore support. Additionally, their expansive cargo holds facilitate the transportation of large quantities of food, water, and medical supplies, ensuring the effective delivery of aid during critical times.

Among the fleet, KRI dr. Soeharso stands as a testament to Indonesia's commitment to humanitarian assistance. Originally constructed as a landing platform dock (LPD), this versatile vessel can accommodate up to 2,000 patients and boasts a crew of 126, including 51 medical specialists. Armed with advanced medical facilities, including five operating rooms and six polyclinics, it serves as a hospital assistance ship utilized by the Indonesian Navy. Furthermore, the vessel's armament, including one 57 mm gun and twin-mounted 40 mm guns, showcases its multi-faceted capabilities. The presence of a hangar and helicopter deck at the stern allows it to operate two Super Puma helicopters, further expanding its reach and impact.

The dr. Wahidin Sudirohusodo class, on the other hand, represents a new wave of hospital assistance ships commissioned by PAL Indonesia for the Indonesian Navy. The first ship in the class, KRI Dr. Wahidin Sudirohusodo (991), was commissioned in 2022, with the second ship, KRI Dr. Radjiman Wedyodiningrat (992), joining the fleet in 2023. These ships offer a platform for medical assistance and support in remote or disaster-stricken areas, and they have the capacity to house 643 people, including 159 patients.

With a maximum speed of 18 knots, a cruising speed of 14 knots, and an economical speed of 12 knots, the Sudirohusodo-class hospital assistance ships are well-equipped to provide medical care and support swiftly, efficiently, and effectively.

In summary, the Indonesian Navy Hospital Assistance Fleet, along with the steadfast commitment of the Indonesian government and its leaders, signifies a beacon of hope for the people of Gaza. These ships represent more than just vessels; they are symbols of compassion, solidarity, and unwavering support in times of crisis. Indonesia's humanitarian mission extends a lifeline to those in need, reiterating the nation's dedication to providing aid, comfort, and care to those affected by conflict and disaster.

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