Royal Malaysian Special Forces

The specificity of the military-political situation in Southeast Asia, which is characterized by the diversity of ethnic and confessional composition of the population, as well as by the strong positions of left radicals, forces many states in the region to pay considerable attention to the creation, equipping and training of special-purpose units. The most serious in terms of training and combat experience are considered to be the special units of the island states of Southeast Asia - Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. This is due to the fact that for many decades these states have had to wage war against partisan formations operating in wooded and mountainous areas on many islands. Nationalist separatist movements, Islamic fundamentalists and partisan communists have long been opposed to these states and have been fighting against them since the middle of the twentieth century. In the last article, we talked about the special forces of Indonesia, and this time it will be about Malaysian special forces.

The fight against partisans and the experience of the British SED


Malaysia acquired political sovereignty in 1957 — first as the Malaysian Federation, which included the Malacca Peninsula, and in 1963, the provinces of Sabah and Sarawak, located on the island of Kalimantan, became members of the Federation of Malaysia. Ever since the first post-war years, from the second half of the 1940's. The authorities in British Malaya are faced with an armed struggle waged by the Communist Party of Malaya.

The Malay War was one of the first post-war colonial conflicts of the British Empire, in which the British had to deal with the developed partisan movement and, accordingly, gradually develop a special tactic of warfare. Subsequently, the experience of the Malay War began to be used by the British in other colonies. The presence of a partisan movement in the jungles of Malacca very soon indicated the need of the British Malaya authorities to create special units that could effectively track down and destroy partisan detachments.



At the end of 1940-x - 1950-s. combat operations against the Malaysian communist partisans were led by units of the troops of the countries of the British Commonwealth. In the jungle of Malacca, in addition to British soldiers, visited the Australians, New Zealanders, Rhodesians. It was the Malay War that forced the British military leadership to abandon plans for the dissolution of the famous SAS - Special Aviation Service, which hatched after the end of World War II. SAS fighters were assigned tasks for a long stay (up to four months) in the Malaysian jungle. During this time, it was supposed not only to engage in the search and destruction of partisans, but also to establish links with the local population, to acquire the sympathy of the “forest tribes” and use the Aboriginal people in opposing the communist partisans. The subdivision operating in Malaya was called the “Malay Scouts”, or 22-th CAC. It was joined not only by recruited British soldiers, but also by the Rhodesians, New Zealanders, Australians and Fijians.

In addition to the CAC, the famous “Gurkha” - Nepalese riflemen, who served in the British army, actively fought in the jungles of Malaya. Also, Sarawak rangers were used against the communist partisans - a special unit rooted in the middle of the 19th century - it was then that the Englishman James Brooke, who became the “white rajah” of Sarawak, in the north of Kalimantan, created the Elite subdivision from the local Aborigines. After Saravak entered Malaysia, Sarawak rangers became the basis of the Royal Ranger Regiment of the Malaysian Army. The staff of this unit is still recruited mainly from ibans - representatives of the largest Dayak tribe in Kalimantan, inhabiting the Malaysian province of Sarawak.

When Malaysia gained political sovereignty, the country's leadership had to independently solve the problems of pacifying the rebels operating in the Malaysian jungle. Moreover, soon after the Kalimantan provinces of Sabah and Sarawak joined the Malaysia, neighboring Indonesia began its subversive activities against the country. Indonesian President Sukarno challenged Malaysia’s rights to Sabah and Sarawak, considering these provinces to be the historical territory of the Indonesian state, since they were located on the island of Kalimantan, most of which became part of Indonesia. Sukarno began to act against Malaysia with the help of communist guerrilla groups that collaborated with the Communist Party of Malaya.

Special Service Group - Army Special Forces

A Malaysian Directorate of Special Forces was established within the Ministry of Defense of Malaysia. In 1965, at the height of the confrontation with Indonesia, the Malaysian command began recruiting volunteers from the ground forces and the navy who wanted to complete a commando training course. Wishing to get into the special forces, there were 300 people. 25 February 1965 began qualifying training in the camp in Johor Bahru. The course was conducted by British Royal Marines. Hard selection eliminated the vast majority of candidates - there were 15 people left who were to undergo a six-week basic commando training course. However, out of these 15 best courses, only 13 people passed - 4 officer and 9 sergeants and corporals. There is even a list of Malaysian special forces of the first set. This is Lt. Col. Shahrul Nizam bin Ismail (he retired as a general), Major Abu Hassan bin Abdullah (retired by a colonel), Lieutenants Mohammad Ramil bin Ismail (later promoted to the rank of major general), Haazli bin Ibrahim (also retired general a major) and Hussin ben Awang Senik (retired by the colonel), staff sergeant Zakaria bin Adas, sergeants Anuar bin Talib, Ariffin ben Mohamad, Yahya bin Darus, corporals Silva Dorai and Mu Ki Fa, efreytorah Dzhokhari bin Khadzhi Ji Ji Ji Ji Ji Ji-an Bin Ahmad. So began история Special service groups - Grup Gerak Khas - special forces of the Malaysian army.

Relying on the assistance of British instructors from the Royal Marine Corps, already in the same 1965, the composition of the Special Service Group was expanded and the young special forces conducted another 6 basic courses. 1 August 1970 was formed 1 th regiment of a special service in Sungai Udang - in the territory of Malacca. In January, 1981 was created the headquarters of the Special Service Group at the Imphal camp in Kuala Lumpur. By this time, in addition to the headquarters, the Group, which was similar in size to the brigade, included three regiments of the special service, as well as combat and logistic support units. The combat training of the Malaysian special forces was carried out jointly with the commandos of Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

1 August 1976 was formed by the Special Military Training Center (Pusat Latihan Peperangan Khusus), in which the combat training of military personnel of the Special Service Group is carried out in the following areas: basic training of commandos of the army, air force and naval forces of Malaysia, training of special operations personnel in accordance with the requirements leadership of the country, training of military personnel of special operations forces, testing of special forces soldiers, provision of qualified instructors for special forces units. During training at the training center, the military personnel of the Special Service Group undergo the following stages of training.

The first five-week training course plays the greatest importance in determining the individual physical and psychological state of the fighters. At this stage, the main focus is on strengthening physical endurance, improving the handling of weapons, explosives, the acquisition of skills in medicine, topography, mountaineering and rock climbing, tactics of actions of special forces. Fighters must complete marches for 4,8 km, 8 km, 11,2 km, 14 km and 16 km with full combat gear. This stage usually ends with the screening of several cadets who do not fit in time in the passage of the designated distance.

The next two-week course of training involves preparing for combat operations in the jungle and includes acquiring survival skills in the jungle, guarding and patrolling the jungle, setting up a military camp in a wooded area, and conducting combat operations. Next, the special forces fighters move to the next stage of preparation, where they are awaited by the battle march in full display. On the passage 160 km given three days. The cadets who have managed to pass this distance at the appointed time must live for seven days in a swampy area without food and even uniforms, being dressed only in underwear. Thus, emphasis is placed on the study of survival practices in the marshland. Those who failed to complete the task are eliminated from the special forces.


Further, the cadets are awaited the stage of learning to act at sea. For two weeks, the future Special Forces soldiers are taught the basics of navigating small vessels, rowing in canoes, landing on the shore, and scuba diving. The final exam at this stage of training is kayak overcoming the distance in 160 km along the Straits of Malay. The fifth stage of training includes the performance of tasks to establish communication with the "agents" and evade meeting with a conditional opponent. In the case of the capture of cadets expect torture and ill-treatment. The task force is tasked to continue the journey to the designated control point, after which the test can be considered complete.

The special service group includes three special service regiments. The 11 th Special Service Regiment is also sometimes called the counter-terrorism regiment. Its competence includes the fight against terrorism, including the release of hostages and the conduct of anti-terrorist operations, including against the revolutionary rebels. The regiment was trained by the instructors of the British SAS 22 and the American Green Berets. Within the Special Service Group, the counterterrorist regiment is considered elite. It is smaller than the other two regiments in number and includes the 4 squadron. But only those commandos that have served at least 6 years in other shelves of a special service can get into the service on antiterror.

The 21 regiment commandos and the 22 regiment commandos are also called anti-insurgency. They specialize in unconventional warfare - guerrilla and counter-partisan operations, special intelligence, and sabotage actions. Here the greatest emphasis is on preparing for action in the jungle. The 22 th commando regiment was created on January 1 1977 in the Sungai Udang camp in Malacca. 1 on April 1981 was formed by the 11 and 12 regiments of the special service, whose task was to support the 21 and 22 regiments of commandos. However, the 12 regiment was reduced.

The Malaysian Special Service Group is subordinate to the headquarters of the armed forces and the headquarters of the country's ground forces. The group is commanded by Brigadier General Dato Abdu Samad bin Haji Yacoub. The honorary chef is the Sultan of Johor. Currently, one of the serious problems of the special forces is the withdrawal of many old fighters from service and the associated personnel shortage. For the prevention of layoffs and attracting new recruits, the military command in 2005 decided to increase the salaries of servicemen depending on the length of service - due to the so-called. incentive payments.

The military personnel of the Special Service Group wear a military uniform set for the Malaysian ground forces, but differ from the military personnel of other units with a headdress - a green beret with the emblem of the special service. The emblem of the Malaysian army special forces is a dagger in front of a roaring tiger's face. The color background of the emblem is obliquely blue and green. The green color symbolizes the unit’s belonging to the commando forces, and the blue symbolizes the historical connection of the special service with the Royal Marines of Great Britain. Tiger means ferocity and power, and a naked dagger is a symbol of the commando's morale, since it acts as a mandatory element of the outfit of any Malaysian special forces. Also, special service personnel wear a blue strap, symbolizing a connection with the Royal Marine Corps. On the left pocket of those special forces, who have parachute training, are also the image of the wings.

The combat path of the special service for half a century of its existence includes numerous episodes of participation in hostilities - both in Malaysia and beyond. From 1966 to 1990 over the course of 24 years, commandos have been very active in countering the communist guerrilla movement in the jungles of Malaysia. As a matter of fact, for this purpose, initially, the units of the army special forces were created. In 1993, the Malaysian special forces, together with units of the Pakistani army, took part in the battle in Mogadishu (Somalia) in 1993, where one special service soldier was killed and several people were injured. In 1998, the army special forces ensured the security of the 16 games of the Commonwealth in Kuala Lumpur, acting in conjunction with the police special forces units. Malaysian Special Forces was the only commando unit from South-East Asia to take part in the peacekeeping operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2006, special service soldiers, together with the 10 airborne brigade and police special forces, participated in pacification in East Timor. Malaysian special forces also participated in peacekeeping operations in Lebanon - in 2007, in Afghanistan - in order to assist the New Zealand military contingent in Bamyan. In 2013, in the province of Sabah, army special forces took part in the search and liquidation of a terrorist group.

Special Aviation Service

As in Indonesia, in Malaysia, each type of armed forces has its own special forces. The Air Force of Malaysia includes Pasukan Khas Udara, or PASKAU (Special Air Service of the Air Force). This unit is used for anti-terrorism activities and special operations of the Royal Malaysian Air Forces. The immediate tasks of the aviation special forces include search and rescue, adjustment of aviation fire and the fight against terrorism and the insurgent movement.

The history of aviation special forces, as well as special forces of the ground forces, goes back to the period of confrontation of the Malaysian government forces with the partisans of the Communist Party of Malaya. After the Communist Party fighters bombarded the air base with mortars, destroying the Royal Air Force transport aircraft, the command of the air force issued a directive to create a new special unit to ensure the safety of the air bases. 1 April 1980 was created a new unit, which began to train British instructors from CAC. By 1, March 1987 was created by 11 squadrons of Malaysian aviation special forces. It was originally called Pasukan Pertahanan Darat dan Udara (HANDAU) - Air and Ground Defense Forces, and 1 June 1993 received its modern name PASKAU.

In fact, PASKAU exists as a regiment of the Royal Air Force of Malaysia. It consists of three main types of squadrons. The first are anti-terrorist squadrons. They specialize in the fight against terrorism, the release of hostages and the destruction of terrorists, in aviation operations to free hostages. The structure of such a squadron includes groups of six fighters each - an arrow, sniper, communications expert, explosives, a medic. The second - a squadron of search and rescue air combat is used to carry out rescue operations in the rear of the enemy. Their task is to find and rescue downed crews of the Royal Air Force planes and their passengers as quickly as possible. Finally, the third type of squadron - the protection of air bases - performs tasks for the defense of air bases, as well as the defense of radar stations and air defense bases. Finally, their task is to adjust the aviation fire.

Training Malaysian aviation special forces is carried out at a high level. Within twelve weeks, the commandos are tested. Tests include direct marches to 160 km. nonstop, mountaineering, boat trips, jungle survival, sniper shooting, hand-to-hand combat. The main emphasis in the training of aviation special forces is focused on training in actions to free hostages and prevent the hijacking of civil and military aircraft. After successfully completing the training and passing the tests, officers, sergeants and ordinary units are given the right to wear a blue beret and a dagger commando.

Throughout its history, PASKAU repeatedly participated in search and rescue operations. In 2013, units of the aviation special forces, together with other military and police forces, participated in the operation against the Sulu terrorists. Forty military units participated in the peacekeeping operation in Afghanistan, and Malaysian aviation special forces took part in the peacekeeping operation in Lebanon. A special aviation service submits to the headquarters of the Royal Air Force of Malaysia. The commander of the regiment of the special aviation service is Colonel Haji Nazri bin Dashah, and the honorary chef is General Dato Rodzali bin Daud.

Marine Special Forces - on guard of Malaysian oil

In 1975, the need to create their own special forces felt and the command of the Navy of Malaysia. It was decided to recruit volunteers from among the officers and sailors of the Navy with the aim of their further training in special commando programs. Thus began the history of the Special Navy of the Royal Malaysian Navy - Pasukan Khas Laut (PASKAL). This unit was tasked with conducting small naval operations in rivers, seas, delta, on the coast or in marshland. In general, the focus of this special unit also had a lot in common with army and aviation special forces - among the main tasks were counter-guerrilla war, the fight against terrorism, the protection of protected persons, the release of hostages. Initially, PASKAL was tasked with protecting Malaysian naval bases.

In 1977, the first batch of thirty officers, commanded by Captain Sutardzhi ben Kasmin (now admiral in retirement) was sent to Kota Pahlavan - a naval base in Surabaya (Indonesia). By this time, relations between Malaysia and Indonesia had long been normalized and countries had become important strategic partners in defense and security matters. In Indonesia, the Malaysian naval special forces began training under the guidance of instructors from KOPASKA - a similar special unit of the Indonesian Navy. Later, special forces officers were also sent to Portsmouth - for training at the base of the Royal Marines of Great Britain, and for California - for training at the base of special forces of the US Navy. In Coronado, on the basis of the US Navy, Special Forces troops under the leadership of Lieutenant Commander (2 Captain Rank) Ahmad Ramley Cardi have been trained.

In April, 1980 Malaysia announced that its exclusive economic zone would reach 200 nautical miles from the coast. Accordingly, the Malaysian Navy was tasked with ensuring the integrity of the country's territorial waters. Accordingly, from October 1, Paskal’s 1982 was introduced within the exclusive economic zone of Malaysia. The special forces were tasked with defending more than thirty oil rigs in the territorial waters of Malaysia. Their security is the exclusive competence of PASKAL and the regiment regularly conducts exercises to test actions in case of an attack on oil rigs or attempts to steal oil.

Royal Malaysian Special Forces


A candidate for service in the PASKAL subunit must meet the requirements of a naval special forces fighter. It must not be older than 30 years. For three months, recruits undergo standard training and testing. After their passage, the recruits that successfully passed the first stage of training are sent to a special military training center in Sungai Udang, where they receive airborne training, as well as special courses in specializations - medicine, explosives, communications, and electrical engineering. Every three months, special forces undergo a medical examination. Tests for enrollment in PASKAL include the following standards: running 7,8 km for 24 minutes, swimming on 1,5 km for no more than 25 minutes, swimming on 6,4 km in the open sea with full display - for 120 minutes, swimming free-style on 1,5 km per minute 31, hold on water with tied arms and legs, dive into 7 m in depth without a special apparatus. The fighters of the naval special forces are regularly sent to internships and advanced training at the SAS base of the United Kingdom, the special forces of the US Navy, and Australian underwater swimmers. Climbing training fighters receive in France, sniper - in Australia.

The training of special forces of the Malaysian Navy includes the study of the specifics of warfare in the jungle, including sabotage and guerrilla methods, search for insurgents. Also studied the survival in the jungle after landing from the air, and the creation of bridgeheads in a wooded area. Emphasis is placed on learning how to defend oil platforms. We study the methods of warfare in urban environments, mining and demining, work with explosives, a course of military medical training. Much attention is paid to physical training, including the study of martial arts. The program of hand-to-hand fighting in the special units is based on the traditional Malay martial art "silat" and Korean martial arts, first of all - "taekwondo". Each special unit soldier must also have training in a foreign language - to gather information and communicate with the fighters of the units of friendly states.

The overall command of the special forces is carried out by the headquarters of the Royal Malaysian Navy. Directly the unit commander is Vice-Admiral Dato Saifuddin bin Kamaruddin. The head of the unit is Admiral Professor Dr. Haji Mohd Sutardji bin Kasmin. Currently PASKAL is a regiment of the naval special forces, the exact number and structure of which are classified. However, experts estimate the size of the unit at approximately 1000 military personnel, which are divided into two units - the first unit based at Lumut base in Perak, and the second block at Sri Sepporn base in Sabah. Also, the PASKAL squad is based on Teluk Sepanggar, a naval base in Sabah.

The regiment consists of several squadrons, each of which includes at least four companies. The smallest unit, the “military boat,” includes seven fighters. Each PASKAL company consists of four platoons organized according to the American "green berets". Platoon "Alpha" is a universal group of special operations used to combat terrorism, rescue work. The Bravo platoon includes a scuba diving team and a special group of air operations whose mission is to penetrate enemy territory to gather intelligence data. Platoon "Charlie" is an auxiliary command. Platoon "Delta" - an amphibious team of snipers.



In each unit of the regiment are specialists of various profiles, selected to perform tasks in a particular region. As for the PASKAL armament, it even surpasses army and aviation special forces in value and modernity. This is explained by the fact that Malaysian oil companies play a significant role in financing naval special forces. The bigwigs of the Malaysian oil business do not spare money to buy weapons and pay for the training of special forces to protect oil rigs. Another source of cash flow is sponsorship from shipping companies. Thanks to private financing, the special forces of the Malaysian Navy are the most well-equipped among other special forces of the country - both in terms of small arms, and in terms of communications and surveillance, scuba diving, vehicles.

Currently, PASKAL units play one of the most important roles in ensuring the safety of navigation in the Indian Ocean. Malaysian naval special forces regularly take part in operations against Somali pirates. So, December 18 2008. PASKAL fighters took part in the liberation of a Chinese ship in the Gulf of Aden. 1 January 2009 PASKAL participated in a confrontation with the Somali pirates who attacked an Indian tanker carrying oil in the Gulf of Aden. In January, 2011 PASKAL prevented an attempt to hijack a tanker loaded with chemical products by Somali pirates. In addition to security operations in the Indian Ocean, Malaysian Navy Special Forces troops participated in a peacekeeping operation in Afghanistan. In 2013, the unit fighters participated in hostilities against South Philippine rebels.

Guarding the rule of law

Finally, Malaysian law enforcement agencies have their own special forces. First of all, this is Pasukan Gerakan Khas (PGK) - the Special Operations Command of the Malaysian Federal Police. The history of the police special forces also goes back to the era of confrontation between the communist partisans and the government. In 1969, with the help of the British 22 CAC, the VAT 69 special unit was created - a small detachment that was supposed to fight the partisans of the Malaya Communist Party. For service in the regiment of 1600 officers and sergeants of the police were selected 60 people who began training for the commandos of the British CAC. Only thirty police officers from 60 initially selected candidates managed to pass all the tests and training courses and form the core of VAT 69.

The first division operations began in 1970, after the completion of the combat training of its fighters. For a long time, the detachment acted against the People’s Liberation Army of Malaya, the paramilitary wing of the Communist Party. Also, the police special forces acted against the "forest dwellers" detachments that sympathized with the communists - representatives of the hay men living in the jungles of Malacca. In 1977, three new squadrons of police special forces were created, prepared by instructors of the New Zealand CAC. By 1980. VAT 69 was fully staffed with both fighters and its own support department.

1 January 1975 was created Unit Unit Tindakan Khas (UTK). It took part in the operation against the Japanese Red Army, whose militants 5 August 1975 took about 50 hostages - employees of the American Consulate and the Swedish Charge d'Affaires. This unit also received training in British SAS techniques. Only twenty of the more than one hundred candidates are selected to serve in the UTC. 20 October 1997. The Malaysian Royal Police has been reorganized. VAT 69 and UTK were combined into Pasukan Gerakan Khas (PGK), reporting directly to the country's prime minister and police inspector general. Police special forces are tasked to conduct anti-terrorist operations in conjunction with special forces of the armed forces, to fight crime, maintain law and order (in Malaysia and in foreign countries - as part of special missions), search and rescue operations, ensure the safety of representatives of Malaysia and other high-ranking individuals.

The distinctive signs of the Malaysian special forces police are berets of sand and burgundy color and the emblem - crooked daggers on a black background. The black color on the emblem of the police special forces symbolizes the secrecy of operations, red - courage, yellow - loyalty to the king of Malaysia and the country.

Police special forces stationed at the headquarters of the Royal Malaysian Police in Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur. The direct command of the unit is carried out by the director of the Department of Home and Public Security, to whom the unit commander is the senior assistant commissioner and the rank of deputy director of the department. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, 2001 in the United States, Malaysian police special forces began to focus on anti-terrorist operations. Small patrol teams of police special forces were established, each of which has 6-10 operational officers. The patrol team is supervised by a police inspector, consisting of snipers, sappers, communications experts and field doctors.

In addition to this special unit, the Malaysia Royal Unit of Police includes the Unit Gempur Marin (UNGERIN) - Marine Assault Group. It was established in 2007 to carry out anti-terrorist operations at sea and combat piracy. The unit is undergoing training in the United States, and in Malaysia it is based in Kampung Aceh in the state of Perak and is used most often to maintain law and order on the northern coast of the island of Kalimantan - in Sabah and Sarawak.

In addition to the Royal Malaysian Police, a number of Malaysian special services and law enforcement agencies also have their own special forces. Its special forces have the Malaysian Prisons Department. This is Trup Tindakan Cepat (TTC) - a small special unit whose mission is to free the hostages captured by prisoners in prisons and eliminate prison riots. The best and most trained employees under the age of 35 years who are able to cope with physical and psychological stress are selected for service in this unit. In 2014, a Grup Taktikal Khas (GTK) own unit was created under the Immigration Department of Malaysia. Its tasks include the fight against illegal migration. The Malaysian Marine Law Enforcement Agency has its special forces - Pasukan Tindakan Khas dan Penyelamat Maritim - Special Forces and Rescue Team. This unit specializes in search and rescue operations, the fight against piracy and terrorism at sea. The task of the detachment also includes the delivery of valuable cargoes and documents from the wrecked Malaysian ships. The profile of this special unit implies close cooperation with the special forces of the Malaysian Navy, both in solving combat missions and in the process of training personnel.
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