PASKAL

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Pasukan Khas Laut
Crest of the Navy PASKAL-KD Panglima Hitam.png
The Navy PASKAL or Panglima Hitam insignia.
Active October 1, 1980 – Present
Country  Malaysia
Branch Crest of the Royal Malaysian Navy.svg Royal Malaysian Navy
Type Special operations force
Role Special operations
Size Classified
Part of Flag of the Malaysian Armed Forces.svg Malaysian Armed Forces
Malaysian Joint Forces Command
Garrison/HQ RMN Naval Base, Lumut, Perak,
RMN KD Semporna Naval Base, Semporna, Sabah
Nickname PASKAL, KD Panglima Hitam[1]
Motto Always The Best
Beret       Purple Coloured
March Dari Jasamu Kami Abadikan
(meaning: From Your Kindness We Eternize)
Engagements Spratley Islands
UNOSOM II, Somalia
UNIVEM II 1998, Angola
Operation Astute, East Timor
MALCON-UNIFIL, Lebanon
Operation Enduring Freedom
MALCON-ISAF, Afghanistan
Ops Daulat
Commanders
Current
commander
Vice Admiral Dato' Haji Nasaruddin Bin Othman
Notable
commanders
First Admiral Prof. Dr. Haji Mohd Sutarji Bin Kasmin
This article is about a Malaysian military unit. For other possible meanings, see Pascal (disambiguation).

The Pasukan Khas Laut (English: Naval Special Warfare Forces), commonly known as the PASKAL compose the Special Operations Forces of the Royal Malaysian Navy, that conducts special operations missions for the Malaysian government. PASKAL are also capable of unconventional warfare, guerrilla warfare, jungle warfare, counter-terrorism, close protection for VIPs, specific enemy assassination and hostage rescue as well as foreign internal defense.

PASKAL and its army and air force counterpart, 11th Grup Gerak Khas Regiment and Flight Hostage Rescue Team of PASKAU, are the Malaysian military's primary counter-terrorism units. Although PASKAL was created as a maritime counter-terrorism unit, it has become a multi-functional special operations unit with several roles that include high-risk personnel/hostage extractions, direct action, special reconnaissance operations and other specialized missions.

It was officially established on October 1, 1980, after a five-year setting-up period, with the purpose of enforcing Malaysia's Exclusive Economic Zone maritime claims through sea, air and land operations (similar to the United States Navy SEALs).

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

The Navy PASKAL originated in 1975, when the Royal Malaysian Navy saw the need for a security regiment trained in modern maritime warfare. Its main purpose was originally to protect naval bases and national assets all over Malaysia. At that time, the RMN main base was known as KD Malaya (Kapal Diraja Malaya, His Majesty's Ship Malaya), formerly known as HMS Malaya before independence, in Woodlands, Singapore which was later transferred to the new naval base in Lumut, Perak when it was completed in 1979. For this to happen, a Security Regiment is established. The Security Regiment composition is dominated by the members of the Sailors Branch is the responsibility of keeping ratings strategic locations such as door gateways, ammunition depot and others. When the main naval base is transferred to Lumut, Perak in 1981, the headquarters of the team also moved along. The leadership and challenges that are expected to be hit Navy Commandos did not wait a long time for the end of the 1970s, an United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) came into force globally and Malaysia are among the first nation acted to claim the rights as enshrined in the resolutions. Among the most important is that the country is no longer restricted only to the waters 12 nautical miles of the coast range as has been adopted by Malaysia since it was formed in 1963.

PASKAL combat divers using the casting technique from a RHIB during the LIMA 2011, Langkawi, Malaysia.

In the year 1977, the first batch of 30 officers, led by Captain Sutarji Bin Kasmin (now Admiral, retired), was sent to Surabaya, Indonesia to be course in the basic jungle commandos and were trained by Indonesian Navy KOPASKA.[2] In 1979, one of the 69 navy personnels failed to complete the course due to broken leg sustained during training in the Basic Jungle Commando Course in Indonesia. When returning the first group were the regiment is known as Navy Commandos and to further enhance and diversify the capacity of skills, they were also sent to the Special Warfare Training Center at the Sungai Udang by Malaysian Army Grup Gerak Khas, UK Royal Marines Commando and US Navy SEALs.[1]

A few men, including RMN senior officer, Lieutenant Commander Ahmad Ramli Kardi traveled on to Coronado, California and Norfolk, Virginia to be trained by the US Navy SEALs. An exposure to a training variety has been given the Regiment about the ability and values deemed appropriate in formulating the basis for a maritime special forces capability and able to handling the challenges ahead. In April 1980, Malaysia has declared that its EEZ will reach up to 200 nautical miles from the coast as provided by the UNCLOS. This resulting of the decision of this country has actually changed the characteristics and development plan as a naval fleet is directly responsible for controlling and protecting its national waters from any intrusion or interference of foreign powers. It has also made Malaysia as a country as a maritime littoral nation currently surged to 598,450 kilometres square. Besides the long beaches reach as well countries to 4,490 kilometers and the number of islands that belong to the country nor is 1,007 units. On October 1, 1982, PASKAL was officially established as the Malaysian Government began to enforce its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) which covers 200 nautical miles off Malaysian waters. In an effort to strengthen its claim over the Spratly Islands Waters of the overlapping claims by several regional countries, the No.18 of National Security Council of Malaysia has been given the mandate to PASKAL as Maritime Counter-Terrorism operatives in 1991 as a fortress in row delimitation of the maritime front.

On April 15, 2009, PASKAL Team Command (PTC) was officially named KD Panglima Hitam in a ceremony held at the Royal Malaysian Navy HQ in Lumut, Perak by the King of Malaysia, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin to honour PASKAL's services to the nation. The name of KD Panglima Hitam or meaning in English as a HMS Black Knight has been inspired by His Majesty the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Al Haj, Al Marhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Al Haj as an Honor Navy Captain. A total of 34 names of Sultan of Perak and 56 common names have been proposed to the RMN and eventually only the three main names are considered the most feasible, it is the KD Panglima Hitam, KD Halilintar and the KD Maharaja Lela. The decision was then made to choose a name KD Panglima Hitam since it is a name synonymous with a hero who always give undivided service to defend the sovereignty and security of the Sultan, the palace and the government. Panglima Hitam is the traditional nickname awarded to proven warriors during the era of the various Malay Sultanates in Perak, Selangor and Johore is a warrior who has a mystic and very powerful in the weapon tactics, and skilled in war maneuvers.[1][3]

The Panglima Hitam history and myth still remains a symbol of courages and characters. It also represents a strong, high prestige in the military and war strategy in which it is wise to emulate. The historic titles of Panglima Hitam can be traced to this day as the following facts:

Panglima Hitam of Taiping, Perak
His true name known as Daeng Kuning and a King Bugis descent of seven brothers warrior who came from Makassar, Sulawesi. During the cruise, he was stopped and subsequently settled in Kuala Larut while his brother had to travel to other places in Malay Archipelagos. Throughout his life he always wore black clothes and more skilled in the arts of self-defense compared to his other relatives.
Panglima Hitam of Kuala Selangor, Selangor
He is the bodyguard to the late Sultan Ibrahim, the second Sultan of Selangor and late Sultan Muhammad, the third Sultan of Selangor during his lifetime. His loyalty is unwavering, and his body was buried beside the tombs of the kings at Malawati Hill. Before the death, he was strictly enjoined that he was buried outside the royal tomb. The wish of Panglima Hitam reflects his responsibility and his unwavering loyalty until the end of life.
Panglima Hitam of Jugra, Selangor
A bodyguard during the reign of the late Sultan Abdul Samad, the fourth Sultan of Selangor. By oral stories from the elders, his true name is Daeng Ali and his tomb is located at Royal Mausoleum in Jugra.
Panglima Hitam of Muar, Johore
His true name is Baginda Zahiruddin from Padang Pariaman Minangkabau, Sumatera Island, Indonesia. He is the founder of Silat Lintau in Indonesia and then to Malaya in the 16th centuries. He has been working with local people to eradicate and eliminate the piracy in the estuary of Sungai Muar.
Panglima Hitam of Segamat, Johore
He's the military leader who's responsible for defeating the rebel group during the Jementah War, which occurred in the area of Segamat and his tomb is located at Jementah in Segamat, Johor.

Roles and responsibilities[edit]

One of PASKAL roles is to launch offensive operations independently via sea, land and air in enemy controlled waters. PASKAL operatives were trained to conduct maritime operations such as anti-piracy and anti-ship / oil rig hijacking. The security of more than thirty offshore oil rigs in Malaysian waters are solely the responsibility of PASKAL, and the unit has held regular training exercises on each of those oil rigs.

Although part of PASKAL mission consists of securing beachheads, deep penetration reconnaissance raids, structure and underwater demolition and sabotage, their range of training and activity extends beyond. PASKAL repertoire also includes in-harbour underwater sabotage, ship-boarding assault, Counter-Terrorist missions (CT), special infiltration tactics behind enemy lines and mine-clearing operations. Special joint training with special Army units are also conducted regularly on specialised skills like HALO and HAHO overwater and overland parachute jumps.[4]

PASKAL detachments are also stationed on sensitive Malaysian offshore stations particularly in Layang-Layang atoll and a few detachments are also permanently staged on several RMN's ships.[5]

Navy PASKAL selection and training[edit]

PASKAL assault team members climbing on to KD Sri Inderasakti during the Ex Pangkor 6/10.
PASKAL operators (centre) with 10 Paratrooper Brigade, Grup Gerak Khas and US forces during the CARAT Malaysia 2009, Terengganu.
PASKAL operators search and flex-cuff suspects during a boarding exercise aboard the U.S. Coast Guard cutter (USCGC) Mellon (WHEC 717) as part of Southeast Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism (SEACAT) 2010.

As a Special Forces unit, PASKAL's personnel are required to be mentally and physically agile. Every new trainee undergoes three months of basic commando training at the Royal Malaysian Navy's (RMN) Lumut Naval Base. The basic criteria to joining this elite force is that all applicants must be younger than 30 years old and to be of sound health. Upon completing the basic commando course, they are sent to the Special Warfare Training Centre (SWTC) in Sungai Udang, Malacca to undergo basic parachuting. Those who pass the gruelling training process will continue to the Advanced First Class training where they are given specialised courses in several fields such as medic, communications, explosives and electrical–mechanical repairing. They are also required to pass a physical test every three months.

Assignment to PASKAL is conditional on passing the PASKAL Physical Screening Test (PST). Prospective trainees are expected to exceed the minimums. Among others, the PST consists of:

  1. 7.8 km running in 24 minutes (below 24 years of age)
  2. 1.5 km swimming in not more than 25 minutes (in a swimming pool)
  3. 6.4 km swimming in open sea with full mission load – under 120 minutes
  4. Day–night skydiving at high elevation spots i.e. hills, buildings and on ocean surface.
  5. Freestyle swimming for 1.5 km under 31 minutes
  6. Surviving in water with hands and feet fully tied up (drown-proofing)
  7. Diving without breathing apparatus for a minimum of 7 m in depth
Basic Recruitment Course
  1. Pre-Selection/Warm-Up
  2. Basic PASKAL commando
  3. Diving endurance
  4. Basic Sky-Diving
Career Development Course
  1. First Class enrollment
  2. Underwater Combat Maneuver
  3. "Laskar Kanan" enrollment
  4. "Bintara Muda" enrollment
  5. Diving/Underwater Combat Superior

PASKAL routinely send officers and men to train with the British SAS, NGSLO, US Navy SEALs, US Navy EOD, Australian Submarine Escape, Assault Swimmer and Australian Clearance Diver, Sniper Supervisor (Australia), Mountain Climbing (France), Australian SASR, US Marine Corps Special Operations Training Group, etc.

On August 26, 1991, the National Security Council declared PASKAL as Malaysian main counter-terrorist task force for the security of oil rigs and oil tanker ships and forms one of the elements in the Quick Reaction Force (QRF).

Expertise–Specialist Course[edit]

Insertion Techniques
  • HALO/HAHO: Tactical high altitude via free-fall parachute insertion, employed in the covert insertion into enemy territory
  • Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction: Ability to rapidly insert and/or extract a reconnaissance patrol or assault team from the enemy area; conduct SPIE rig of personnel from combat zone.
Combat Technique

All PASKAL receive special training and operationally qualified to perform special operational duties. It's consists:

  • Combat Tracking: Direct action missions in jungle terrain, employing guerilla tactics and dynamic counter-insurgency warfares and techniques.
  • Pathfinding/Jungle Survival: Capability to inserted or dropped into place in order to set up and operate drop zones, pickup zones, and helicopter landing sites for airborne operations, air resupply operations, or other air operations in support of the ground unit commander. Conducts survival skills to handle an emergency situation, especially in tropical forest and the beachheads.
  • Unarmed Combat: A mixture of Malay Silat and Korean Taekwondo martial arts as main unarmed combat techniques to confront and taking down the enemy without firearms or other distance weapons at very close range.
  • Close Quarters Combat Tactical: Tactical direct action missions, as well as visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) operations or destruction of offshore gas, and oil platforms, employing close quarter battle combat and dynamic assault tactics and techniques.
  • Sniper/Counter-sniper tactics: Direct or counter sniper in the terrain of urban warfare, or jungle warfare to reconnaissance, reduce the enemy's fighting ability by striking at high value targets and pinning down and demoralizing the enemy, as well as provide covering fire for Malaysian or designated friendly forces from enemy attacks, as well as enemy snipers.
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal: Ability to defusing or demolition the explosive materials, such as time bombs, unexploded bombs (UXBs), naval mines, etc.
  • Combat search and rescue: Conduct search and rescue the military personnel to carried out during war or peacekeeping mission that are within or near combat zones.
  • Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain: Conduct military operations in a built-up area.
  • Combat Medic Specialist: Specialized medic for providing first aid and frontline trauma care on the battlefield.
  • Foreign language: Use of foreign languages to communicated with friendly forces, etc.
Intelligence gathering

Besides the combat and insertion skills, the specialized units within the PASKALs are able to perform the intelligence capabilities to exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions. The intelligence capability is:

  • Counterintelligence: Tactical counter-intelligence to prevent hostile or enemy intelligence organizations from successfully gathering and collecting intelligence against them.
  • Signals intelligence – SIGINT: Tactical SIGINT, limited ground bases Electronic Warfare, and communications security monitoring and analysis in direct support. This is accomplished by employing organic collection and direction finding equipment as well as through connectivity to national and theater SIGINT/EW assets.
  • C4-I Systems Implementations: Tactical C4-I techniques to provide intel to command centre. The objective is a thorough understanding of mutual command and control procedures, capabilities, and limitations developed through continual participation in joint and combined exercises.
  • Special reconnaissance: Reconnaissance behind enemy lines, avoiding direct combat and detection by the enemy.
  • Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol: Use of special small four to six-man teams operated on reconnaissance and combat patrols, either obtaining highly vital intelligence, or performing highly dangerous raids and ambushes.

The PASKAL tactics and organization are heavily influenced by the British Special Boat Service (SBS) and the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (SEAL Team Six – DEVGRU). PASKAL usually trains with GGK as well as US Navy SEALs, Indonesian Navy KOPASKA and the SBS.[6]

Navy PASKAL teams and structure[edit]

The team with tactical BDUs conducts CQC drills.

Naval Special Operations Units[edit]

The manpower details of this unit are highly classified. It is believed to be a regiment with an estimated 1,000 men divided into two operations units – PASKAL Unit Satu (PASKAL – First Unit) based in the Lumut Naval base in Perak on Peninsular Malaysia, and PASKAL Unit Dua (PASKAL – 2nd Unit) which is based at KD Sri Semporna, a Malaysian Royal Navy base in Semporna, Sabah. A company-strength (detachment) is also based at the Teluk Sepanggar Naval Base near Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, where the RMN's proposed Submarine Training Centre will be set up soon.

Structure[edit]

PASKAL organizes itself operationally into several squadrons of at least four companies (or platoons) each. Each company is in turn organised roughly along the lines of the US Green Berets' structure of Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta Detachments. The smallest unit for PASKAL, however, is the so-called Boat Troop with seven men. Each PASKAL company consists of:-

Alpha platoon
The Versatile Special Operations Force, mainly trained for Maritime Counter-terrorism and other rescue operations into cargo vessels and oil rigs as well as urban terrain. This platoon is equipped with individual covering systems for close quarters combat.
Bravo platoon
Consists of an oxygen combat diving team and a special air operations team both of which allow infiltration of enemy territory quietly. This squad is also trained to collect intelligence data to help the assault squad.
Charlie platoon
An auxiliary team with the role of strengthening special operations capacity from behind enemy lines.
Delta platoon
The conventional warfare team which dominated the amphibious warfare of PASKAL teams with special operation skills on the ground and sniping.

Basically each squadron contains a mixture of specialists that is usually adjusted for the specifics of the mission or area it is tasked to operate within. Each squadron normally carries a Combat Intelligence Team (Malay: Tim Risik Gempur, TRG), trained in maritime tactical intelligence, counter-intelligence and psychological operations.

Weaponry and equipment[edit]

PASKAL's weaponry and equipment inventory is a confidential subject. Nevertheless, amid rumors of financing from the consortium of oil companies in addition to ample financing from the navy, PASKAL's inventory currently includes some of the most advanced and sophisticated equipment better than army and air force special teams.

The voluntary contributions from the oil consortium has ensured that PASKAL has sufficient means to procure weapons and equipment that are much more modern and sophisticated in comparison to the other SOF units in the Malaysian armed forces. All the weaponry and equipment was acquired under the Offensive Underwater Weapons program implemented under the 9th Malaysian Plans.

Pictures taken during national day parades including RMN anniversaries and from local defense magazines indicate the use of the following:

Night-vision devices:

Helmets:

  • lightweight FAST helmets

Thermal imaging common modules:

Various ground tactical:

  • radar MASINT (Measurement and Signature Intelligence) - including PSR MASINT

Sidearms:

Combat shotguns:

  • Remington 870 18.5mm Marine Magnums - as the M870 and Modular Combat Shotgun. Can be used in the close range combat or as a breaching gun.
  • Remington 1100 18.5mm Tacticals - semi automatic 12-gauge shotgun.

Submachine guns:

Assault rifles / Battle rifles /Carbines

Designated marksman/sniper/anti-materiel rifles:

Machine guns/Support weapons:

  • CETME Ameli
  • FN Minimi - 5.56x45mm light machine gun, being phased out in favor of the HK MG4.
  • Heckler & Koch MG4 - 5.56mm belt-fedmachine gun.
  • FN MAG - 7.62x51mm medium machine gun used primarily on vessels and helicopters.
  • M60E1 - used primarily as GPMG.
  • Vektor SS-77 GPMG - 7.62x51mm medium machine gun used primarily on lighter vessels and helicopters.

Hand Grenades:

Grenade launchers:

PASKAL is also known to utilise specialised delivery craft – among others, PASKAL employs high speed inflatable/collapsible sub-skimmers (also known as UDV – Underwater Delivery Vehicle), for infiltrations into hostile areas.

The acquisition of two Scorpène submarines which are jointly being built by DCNS, France and Navantia, Spain ("KD Tunku Abdul Rahman" commissioning January 2009, "KD Tun Razak" commissioning October 2008) is expected to further add PASKAL's capabilities and range.[11]

PASKAL emblems and badges[edit]

The PASKAL officer with PASKAL Commando flash, navyblue lanyard and US Woodland camouflage uniform, the same camo worn by US Navy SEALs.
Reddish Purple (Magenta) coloured beret
The magenta beret reflects the PASKAL's identity and its close relationship with the Indonesian Marine Corps.
Navy blue lanyard
The navy blue lanyard reflects the Royal Malaysian Navy and its also possibly reflects to their founding trainers, the British Royal Marines Commando.
Camouflage
The PASKAL camouflage uniform is identical to that worn by US Navy SEALs. It also reflects the close relationship with this US Special Forces unit from which PASKAL also receives training.
Trimedia
The "Trimedia" is PASKAL's main emblem which is worn by every PASKAL trooper. The various components symbolises:
  1. Wing – the traditional symbol for airborne capability
  2. Jet Fin & Face Mask Emblem – symbolises seaborne infiltration capability
  3. Combat Dagger – symbolises jungle-warfare capability
  4. Anchor – the symbol for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).

Commanding officers[edit]

List of PASKAL Commander
Name Year Remark
First Admiral Assoc. Prof. Dr. Haji Sutarji bin Kasmin 1975–2003 PASKAL Commander from 1975 and retired in 2003
Vice Admiral Dato' Haji Nasaruddin bin Othman 2003-Now

Notable PASKAL members[edit]

  • First Admiral Assoc. Prof.Dr. Haji Mohd Sutarji Bin Kasmin (retired) — first commanding officer of PASKAL, considered godfather of PASKAL
  • Vice Admiral Dato' Haji Nasaruddin Bin Othman — second commanding officer of PASKAL, replacing First Admiral Dr. Haji Sutarji Kasmin
  • Captain Jamaludin Bin Mohd Saman RMN
  • Commander Abd Malek Bin Hj Mohd Daud RMN
  • Commander Ahmad Ramli Bin Kardi — honored Ahli Mangku Negara, Ahli Mahkota Perak medal
  • Commander Anuar Bin Alias — honored Panglima Gagah Berani medal
  • Commander George Paul Thomas Rozario
  • Lieutenant Commander Che Adnan Bin Mat Isa
  • Lieutenant Commander Samrus Bin Che Dan (passed away in June 18, 2012)
  • Master Chief Petty Officer Mohd Room Bin Bahari
  • Seaman Hairi Mat Balong
  • PASKAL Senior Seaman Sukeri Bin Abdullah (1994–1997)

Operations and covert actions[edit]

The unit has been deployed in the following operations:

Operation Roles Country Year
Spratly Islands Security Mission  Malaysia 1980s
Gugusan Semarang Peninjau Security Missions  Malaysia 1979
United Nations Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM II) Peacekeeping Missions  Somalia 1993–1995
United Nations Angola Verification Mission II (UNIVEM II) Peacekeeping Missions  Angola 1998
Operation Astute Peacekeeping Missions  Timor-Leste 2006
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (MALCON-UNIFIL) Peacekeeping Missions  Lebanon 2007
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon II (MALCON-UNIFIL II) Peacekeeping Missions  Lebanon 2008 – present
Operation Dawn Hostage Rescue  Somalia 2008 – present
International Security Assistance Force (MALCON-ISAF) Humanitarian aid  Afghanistan 2010 – present
PASKAL operatives with MP5A5 submachineguns fitted with M68 Close Combat Optic and Vortex muzzle suppressor during the counter-terrorism and hostage rescue drill in MISC merchant vessel.
Operation Dawn (Ops Fajar)
PASKAL operatives were deployed in the activities subsequent to the hijacking by Somalian pirates of two Malaysian merchant vessels, MISC-owned Bunga Melati 2 and Bunga Melati 5. The PASKAL detachment was tasked to intelligence-gathering and also to provide security to the Malaysian team negotiating the release of both ships and their crew. This operation, codenamed Ops Fajar (Operation Dawn) also involved Royal Malaysian Navy assets comprising KD Lekiu, KD Sri Inderapura, as well as supported elements of Malaysian Army special forces, Grup Gerak Khas as well as some RMAF assets.[12]
Rescue operations of Zhenhua 4 and MV Abul Kalam Azad
December 18, 2008 – The Royal Malaysian Navy swung into action to save a China-registered ship, Zhenhua 4 in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday, the same day the United Nations Security Council decided to be more assertive against the Somali pirates. The Zhenhua 4 was attacked by the nine armed pirates about noon on Wednesday while sailing in the gulf on its way from Djibouti to China.
Called on by the Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), the multinational coalition patrolling the pirate-infested gulf, the RMN's KD Sri Indera Sakti despatched a helicopter (including PASKAL naval commando) to the scene. The helicopter fired two warning shots at the pirates' skiff, causing them to call off the attack on the heavy load carrier Zhenhua 4 and flee.[13][14]
1 January 2009 – PASKAL operatives together with RMN KD Sri Inderasakti, commanding by Captain Mohamad Adib Abdul Samad experienced its first combat in the new year when its Fennec helicopter drove off two pirate skiffs pursuing Indian crude oil tanker MT Abul Kalam Azad in the dangerous pirate-infested Gulf of Aden. Somalia. The 92,000-tonne vessel, with 40 crew members, was heading for the Suez Canal with a full load of crude oil, sailing in the gulf at 11.37am (Malaysian time) when it was attacked by pirates in two skifs. One of the boats had seven men in it, all armed with AK-47s and machineguns. They unleashed a barrage of fire at the bridge and accommodation area of the ship. They also tried to board it, all the while keeping up the attack.
However, the ship began taking evasive measures and increased speed to the maximum. This was also when it issued a distress signal, which was picked up by Malaysian navy support ship KD Sri Indera Sakti about 15 nautical miles away. In rapid response, Captain Mohamad Adib dispatched the ship-borne Fennec helicopter gunship armed with twin general purpose machine guns and an elite Naval Special Forces PASKAL airborne sniper. The Malaysian helicopter was joined by a Eurocopter AS 365 Dauphin helicopter of the Royal Saudi Navy, effectively scaring off the pirates.
The captain of the Abul Kalam Azad had initially requested to join the Malaysian International Shipping Corporation convoy, escorted by the Sri Indera Sakti, but later accepted the offer from a Saudi Arabian naval ship to escort it to its destination. International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre head Noel Choong said the crew of the Abul Kalam Azad reported seeing the pirates in military-style garb.[15][16]
MALCON – ISAF
The special forces included PASKAL, Grup Gerak Khas, PASKAU and 10 Paratrooper Brigade was deployed with other Malaysian contingent to involved the administrative workload at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The team was deployed to assist the New Zealand Armed Forces in the peacekeeping missions and humanitarian aid at the Bamiyan District, Afghanistan.[17]
Operation Dawn 9: Gulf of Aden
An armed PASKAL operators securing the Somali pirates after successfully retaking the MT Bunga Laurel chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden.
January 20, 2011 – PASKAL maritime counter-terrorism assault teams successfully thwarted an attempted hijacking by Somali pirates on the Malaysian chemical tanker, a MT Bunga Laurel in the Gulf of Aden. The tanker, laden with lubricating oil and ethylene dichloride that was headed for Singapore in the nick of time was attacked by the mothership with 18 armed pirates about 300 nautical miles (555km) east of Oman at 11.40pm. Under the cover of darkness, seven pirates armed with AK-47 assault rifles, light machine guns and pistols suddenly emerged from a skiff boat and began boarding the tanker, firing at random. The crew of MT Bunga Laurel activated the alarm and MISC Emergency Reporting Centre (ERC) received a security emergency indication at about 11.37pm. With the received an order to rescued, the PASKALs in two boats, led by Lieutenant Commander Mohd Maznan Bin Mohd Said and Lieutenant Noor Asri Bin Roslan, were deployed from Bunga Mas Lima auxiliary ship, located 14 nautical miles (25.9km) away, at 1.20am with the help by Fennec attack helicopter piloted by Lieutenant Jason Solomon John provided reconnaissance and aerial cover.
The PASKALs boarded the tanker and subdued the pirates and starting the gunfight with the commandos while the helicopter launched a several shots to the pirate's mother ship at bay. At least three pirates wounded in the shootout with the commandos, four captured on board while 11 more on their mothership decided to surrender and seized the weapons and ammunitions. The 23 Bunga Laurel crews successfully rescued and no among casualties and losses to Filipinos and Malaysians including PASKALs in the battle. The swift action prevented the MISC from losing the cargo worth an estimated RM30mil, and saved 23 Filipino crew members on board the vessel. The Bunga Mas Lima had just completed the task of escorting the tanker and another MISC liquefied natural gas carrier, MT Seri Balhaf, bound for Fujairah, to a safe zone called Easton 4 in the gulf. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak praised the team for their efficiency in dealing with the crisis; the captured pirates were eventually brought to Malaysia to be tried.[18][19][20]
2013 Lahad Datu standoff
The unit was sent to Lahad Datu, Sabah as part of the Malaysian security forces team to secure the area.

In popular culture[edit]

For the first time, PASKAL are present in the First Persons Shooter (FPS) online games such as Special Force, published by the Dragonfly GF Co., Ltd from Republic of Korea in 2004.

The PASKAL unit make a very brief appearance in the 2012 Hong Kong Action film The Viral Factor directed by Dante Lam, raiding a smallpox stricken freighter ship off the coast of Malaysia.

See also[edit]

Malaysian Special Operations Force[edit]

Similar navy special forces units outside Malaysia[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "KD Panglima Hitam lahirkan Paskal berwibawa" (in Bahasa Malaysia). Utusan Malaysia. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  2. ^ "Paskal: History". SpecialOperations.com. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  3. ^ "PASKAL Team Command will be known as KD Panglima Hitam". Royal Malaysian Navy. 2009-04-18. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  4. ^ "Paskal: Roles". SpecialOperations.com. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  5. ^ "Well primed to repel attacks". The Star. 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2002-11-02. 
  6. ^ "Paskal:Training". SpecialOperations.com. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  7. ^ Thompson, Leroy (December 2008). "Malaysian Special Forces". Special Weapons. Retrieved 2009-11-23. 
  8. ^ Abas, Marhalim (2009-05-06). "Tender of HK416". Malaysian Defence. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  9. ^ Abas, Marhalim (2010-04-23). "DSA 2010 Part III". Malaysian Defence. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  10. ^ Abas, Marhalim (2010-04-23). "DSA 2010: The biggest security and defence show in Asia". Malay Mail Online. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  11. ^ "Work on submarine base to start soon". The Star. 2006-11-15. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  12. ^ "Ops Fajar mission accomplished". The Star. 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  13. ^ "RMN saves ship boarded by pirates". New Straits Times. 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2009-01-02. [dead link]
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