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|Komando Pasukan Katak|
|Active||31 March 1962 – present|
|Branch||Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL)|
|Part of||Indonesian National Armed Forces Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI)|
|Motto(s)||Tan Hana Wighna Tan Sirna (Sanskrit)
"There is no obstacle that cannot be defeated"
|Colours||Maroon berets, previously dark blue|
|Mascot(s)||Green Flying Frog|
Kopaska or Komando Pasukan Katak is the premier frogman and underwater demolition unit of the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL). The Unit's motto is "Tan Hana Wighna Tan Sirna" ("There is no obstacle that cannot be defeated"). KOPASKA was officially established on 31 March 1962 by President Sukarno to help his campaign Operation Trikora in Western New Guinea. However, this special operations force was actually founded in 1954 by Captain (Navy) Iskak from the Navy Frogman School at Naval Base Surabaya. The Unit's main duties are underwater demolition (raiding enemy ships and bases), destroying main underwater installations, reconnaissance, prisoner snatches, preparing beaches for larger naval amphibious operations, and counter-terrorism. In peacetime the unit deploys a seven-person team to serve as security personnel for VIPs. Primary among these duties are the escort and personal security of the Indonesian president and vice-president.
Early KOPASKA members (Captain-Navy Urip Santoso, Lieutenant-Navy Joko Suyatno, and Sergeant EMP Joseph) trained with the UDTs in the United States. The Indonesian Navy also sent personnel to the Soviet Union to learn from Soviet Navy frogmen and demolition teams. The tradition of overseas training has continued with a few men from the unit travelling each year to Coronado, California and Norfolk, Virginia to participate in SEAL training. Returning to Indonesia, these men then recruit new personnel for KOPASKA.
Recruitment was difficult in the early years of KOPASKA as only few Navy members could pass the qualifications process. Recruitment became even more difficult when President Sukarno announced the Trikora Campaign in Western New Guinea (the Netherlands New Guinea), as KOPASKA were required to conduct beach reconnaissance, beach clearing, prisoner snatches, and human torpedo missions. The latter two missions were the most daring planned by KOPASKA – the first planned to snatch Rear Admiral Reeser, Commander in Chief of the Dutch Armed Forces in the Territory, and the human torpedo was aimed at the Dutch aircraft carrier Karel Doorman. Due to lack of personnel KOPASKA had to borrow 21 troops from the army special forces which at that time still called RPKAD - Army Paracommando Regiment, including Colonel Sarwo Edhie Wibowo, and three from the Greater Jakarta Military Region Command (Kodam Jaya). The plans were cancelled when a cease-fire was implemented between Indonesia and the Netherlands.
Of the troops assigned to the Trikora campaign, the three Army troops (Maksum, Alex Sunaryo, and Budi Suroyo) attended Seaman School in the Naval Training Command (Kodikal) and became regular members of KOPASKA. 18 of 21 RPKAD wanted to stay with the Navy, but the Commander of RPKAD (Major General Mung Pahardimulyo) did not approve the transfer. Instead, he accommodated the ex-KOPASKA members by creating a new special unit in Kopassus SAT GULTOR 81-2 Batt.
Until now, Kopaska still trained their specialities to other Indonesian Special Forces units:
SAT-81 GULTOR and DENBRAVO-90 continues to send its best members for three months of training in Frogmen School (Sepaskal) at the Special Training Centre (Pusdiksus), Naval Warfare Centre (Pusdikopsla), Naval Training Command (Kodikal) Moro Krembangan in Surabaya, East Java.
The recruitment process to KOPASKA is similar to that of the US Navy SEALs. The criteria are:
- Be an existing member of the Navy corps except Marine qualified
- Be younger than 30 years old
- Served with the Navy for at least 2 years
The recruitment process takes place annually at all Indonesian naval bases, so location is not a concern. Candidates who fulfil the initial criteria are brought to KOPASKA Training Centre to participate in the selection process. Of 300-1500 candidates, only 36 to 20 actually complete the initial selection process. Those who pass the initial selection receive advanced training at KOPASKA training centre. Those who pass training then graduate to become a member of KOPASKA Unit. Only 0-20 personnel per year graduate to become a full member.
The training process lasts ten months, divided into four continual training phases: physical endurance/physical training, basic underwater training, commando training, and parachute training.
Each phase of training consists of a similar process. For example, the first phase of training is physical or endurance training. Each candidate receives a daily physical training program, e.g.: running, marching, push-ups, sit ups, pull-ups, swimming, etc. The training programs are unscheduled, so the instructor can order physical training at random. The last week of this training each candidate must be able to demonstrate strength through trials such as cross-strait swimming or rowing to Laki Island at night with little food or sleep. This training usually exploits the candidate's physical and psychological strength.
The remaining training phases include combat swimming, infiltration through submarine torpedo tube, long range combat patrol, close quarter battle, infiltration using CRRC or RIB, intelligence course, parachute training (including combat free-fall, static line, HAHO, and HALO), pathfinder,making trap and survival techniques.
KOPASKA has several join exercises with the elite forces from other countries.
PANDU EX with RSN Naval Diving Unit (NDU)
Weaponry and equipment
Since most of KOPASKA duties are in salty and moist environments, most of KOPASKA's weapons and equipment reflect these conditions.
The type of equipment and weapons used by Kopaska are common in Indonesia and world special force societies, including:
- Pistols: Pindad P1/P2, SIG Sauer P226, Glock 17, Glock 19, H&K USP, CornerShot
- Submachineguns:H&K MP5 variants, Brugger & Thomet MP9 variants, Micro Uzi, Daewoo K7, MP7,
- Assault rifles: AK-47, Norinco Type 56-2, Colt M16A1 assault rifle, Pindad SS1-V1/V2, Pindad SS2-V1/V2, AK CZ-58, CZ 805 BREN, HK416, M4, Steyr Aug A3 SFO, AK-101,APS
- Sniper rifles:SIG 550 Sniper rifle, Steyr-Mannlicher SSG 69, Galatz Sniper Rifle, AW L96, Denel NTW-20, Arctic Sniper, HK417, SR-25
- Machineguns: Daewoo K3, FN Minimi, FN MAG, GPMG, Pindad 12.7 MG's
KOPASKA use commercial scuba diver equipment. All personnel are also equipped with lightweight PRO-TEC helmets,Level III MICH helmets, and some of them wearing Airframe Helmets by Crye Precision. They use close circuit,semi close circuit and open circuit aqualung equipment, a scooter or sub-skimmer craft for underwater mobility, and an Avon Sea Raider Rigid Inflatable Boat or Hull (By deflating the hull, a Sea Raider can also can be used as a sub-skimmer craft).They also have X38 Combat Boat and Sea Shadow
The human torpedo campaign, described above, would use KOPASKA troops like Japanese kamikaze. The strike craft was a boat installed with one MiG-17 "Fresco" ejection seat, powered by a pair of Johnson 100pk and armed with two torpedo warheads. Known as Project Y within KOPASKA circles, this project was supervised by Lt. Commander (Navy) Urip Santoso (Vice Adm Ret), one of the founders of KOPASKA.
Currently, the unit has approximately 300 men, divided into two groups. One group is attached to the western fleet, based in Jakarta and the other group is attached to the eastern fleet, based in Surabaya, East Java. When called for, they conduct limited support search and rescue missions. They have also been deployed overseas as part of United Nations peacekeeping missions.
MV Sinar Kudus Hostage Rescue
On March 16, 2011, an Indonesian merchant ship, MV Sinar Kudus, who carrying nickel ores from South Sulawesi to Rotterdam was hijacked by a group of Somali pirates in Red Sea. After some negotiations, the ship owner eventually agrees to pay ransom and freed the vessel and its crew. However, upon learning that the ship carrying valuable minerals, another groups of pirates attempting to re-hijack the ship, and made aggressive fast approach to retake MV Sinar Kudus. After signalling "mayday", a group of KOPASKA elite soldiers were deployed from KRI Abdul Halim Perdanakusuma to secure the ship. Three fast boats were deployed. But fearing that it may not be quick enough, a group of KOPASKA were deployed using Bo 105 helicopter to strafe the oncoming pirates. The remainder KOPASKA onboard the boats finished the pirates.
Since 2006 Kopaska use their special designed camouflage and uniform that often called "Kopaska Digital", Kopaska Digital first appeared is in 2006, the uniform was made by PT. Sritex and designed by PT. Mustika. Their uniform also made by Zivtac.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to KOPASKA.|