Admiral Ade Supandi was until recently the general chief of staff of the Indonesian armed forces. He previously served as commander of the Western and Eastern fleets and governor of Indonesia’s naval academy. Ade hails from Bandung in western Java and has received some training in the United States and Australia.
Why is he in the news?
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on December 30 inaugurated Ade as the new chief of the Indonesian Navy, replacing Admiral Marsetio who hit mandatory retirement age. The Indonesian Navy has taken on greater importance under the Jokowi government, as the new president vowed to turn the archipelagic nation into a maritime power both commercially and militarily.
What can we expect from him?
Ade will play a critical role in overseeing the expansion of Indonesia’s naval fleet in accordance with the “Minimum Essential Force” plan, an overhaul directive signed into law by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2009, and helping build Indonesia’ new Coast Guard in the coming years. Expect him to take a forceful stance on the ongoing crackdown on illegal fishing in Indonesian waters and advocate for a larger budget for the navy, which has historically taken a backseat to the more powerful army.