Special Task And Rescue

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Special Task And Rescue
Pasukan Tindakan Khas dan Penyelamat
ڤاسوكن تيندقن خاص دان ڤڽلامت ماريتيم
MMEA STAR Team Badge.svg
Crest of Special Task And Rescue Team
Founded25 April 2005; 14 years ago (2005-04-25)
Country Malaysia
Branch Malaysia Coast Guard
TypeElite forces (Special forces)
Role
Sizec. 200 Operators
Part ofNational Special Operations Force
Garrison/HQMalaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Headquarters, Putrajaya
Nickname(s)"STAR Team", "PTK", "Komando Maritim"[1] ('Coast Guard Commando')
Colour of Beret  Scarlet Red
Anniversaries25 April
Engagements
Commanders
Current
commander
Cdr. (M) Abdul Muhaimin Mohd Salleh
Notable
commanders
Capt. (M) Abim Sungom
Insignia
MMEA STAR Team Insignia
Insignia of MMEA STAR Team.svg

The Special Task And Rescue (Malay: Pasukan Tindakan Khas dan Penyelamat APMM – PTK APMM, Jawi:ڤاسوكن تيندقن خاص دان ڤڽلامت ماريتيم) or STAR is an elite maritime counter-terrorism and special forces unit of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA; internationally known as Malaysia Coast Guard) established to protect the local maritime assets of Malaysia.

The mission and responsibility of this unit include commencement of rescue mission in a difficult underwater situation, rescuing accident victims at sea, and searching ships tactically in the event this is required. In addition, STAR also share the role of the rapid reaction force together with Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) PASKAL and Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) UNGERIN on piracy, terrorism and robbery threats at sea before the arrival of RMP's Marine Operations Force, MMEA and RMN reinforcements.

History[edit]

Established in April 2005, a handful of Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) PASKAU and RMN PASKAL commandos is transferred into MMEA to make up the first STAR team.[3] The concept of MMEA Special Operations is based on the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) and Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT).

In April 2008, twenty-five home-grown trainees successfully completed the MMEA Basic Commando Course Orientation held at Pulau Indah, Selangor. This included one senior commissioned officer, three senior non-commissioned officers (SNCO), and one non-commissioned officer (NCO). Trainees attending this course were selected from a STAR team selection test which was held from 19 to 24 December 2007.[4]

In July 2009, 24 trainees manage to pass RMAF Basic Commando Course and thus forming pioneer team of home-grown STAR operators.[1][5] According to Deputy Director Chief of Malaysian Maritime Operations VAdm. (M) Dato' Noor Aziz Yunnan, the team needed an additional 200 members by the end of the year.[5]

National Special Operations Force[edit]

In 2016, main counter-terrorism operators in Malaysia are formed into one special operations task force.[6] Few operators from STAR are selected to be part of the National Special Operations Force.

Training[edit]

STAR operators conducts a tactical boarding training exercise aboard a Malaysian offshore patrol vessel during a during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Malaysia 2011

Each prospective trainee needs to pass five stages of training and courses before been bestowed with STAR Scarlet Red Beret and STAR Insignia.[1]

Basic Commando Course Orientation (4 weeks)[edit]

Lasts for one month, in the year 2011, this orientation training is held in RMAF Kuala Lumpur Airbase and overseen by instructors from PASKAU and STAR.[1] It is a standard orientation among Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) Special Forces to weed out the weak and unprepared candidates before proceeding to the next stage of training. It follows the standards set up by MAF Special Forces (PASKAU, PASKAL, 21 GGK).[1]

In the present day, STAR runs their own orientation training at MMEA's Base, Station and Academy.[7][8] Overseen by veteran STAR instructors, the training is now known as Kursus Pra Asas Komando STAR ('STAR Pre-Basic Commando Course').[8]

During the orientation course implementation, each candidate had to pass three tests which are:

  • Test 1 – Physical Test (Water)
  • Test 2 – Physical Test (Land)
  • Final Test – Fitness Test

Pre-Basic Commando Course (2 weeks)[edit]

The objective of this course is to expose and prepare candidates before sending them to the Basic Commando Course held within the three branches of the MAF.[9] This course lasts for two weeks in Teluk Batik, Lumut, Perak and overseen by instructors from PASKAL and STAR.[7]

During this course, trainees will be taught how to develop mental and physical strength and the esprit de corps for the upcoming Basic Commando Course. Trainees also exposed with basic small arms operation, map reading, compass and protractor reading, basic unarmed combat, swimming, long-distance running, navigation, survival effort, and basic marksman training. Training also included first aid, interrogation resistance, and amphibious assault.

Intensive Training (3 weeks)[edit]

This three weeks training is especially to waterborne special forces such as STAR and PASKAL. Trainees who pass the Pre-Basic Commando Course will be trained in the physical aspect of land and water.

Trainees need to pass two fitness test and one 'drown-proofing' test:

  • Fitness Test (Land)
    • 6.8 kilometres (4.2 mi) run under 34 minutes, 50 push-ups under 90 seconds. 50 sit-ups under 90 seconds, 15 metres (49 ft) rope climbing etc.
  • Fitness Test (Water)
    • 500 metres (1,600 ft) freestyle swimming under 10 minutes, 500 metres (1,600 ft) sidestroke swimming under 12 minutes and 500 metres (1,600 ft) mixstyle swimming under 12 minutes, 7 metres (23 ft) dive to pool bottom, 35 metres (115 ft) dive across pool and diving from 10 metres (33 ft) platform.
  • 'Drown-proofing' Test
    • 75 metres (246 ft) swim across, 15 minutes float and 5 metres (16 ft) dive to pool bottom; all with arms and legs tied.

This training is the final selection process before trainees sent to the Basic Commando Course.

Basic Commando Course (12 weeks)[edit]

Lasts for 12 weeks, STAR candidate will be sent to either RMN Basic Commando Course at RMN Naval Base in Lumut, Perak or RMAF Basic Commando Course at RMAF Regiment Jugra, Selangor. Both RMN and RMAF Commando School is nearby to MMEA Station in Lumut (MD3) and Port Klang (MD4).

In Basic Commando Course, trainees will get through five phases which is:

  • Phase 1 – Camp Phase (5 weeks)
  • Phase 2 – Jungle Phase (2 weeks)
  • Phase 3 – Swamp Phase and Long Range March (1 week)
  • Phase 4 – Sea Phase (2 weeks)
  • Phase 5 – Escape and Evasion (E&E) (2 weeks)

After graduation, trainees will be bestowed with berets according to the commando school they have entered. Either Maya blue beret[5] for RMAF Commando School, or Magenta beret[9] for RMN Commando School. At this point, trainees are considered as an unofficial member of the STAR Team.[1]

Special Task Introduction Course (6 weeks)[edit]

Once finished the 12 weeks Basic Commando Course, each trainee needs to complete a six weeks Kursus Pengenalan Tindakan Khas ('Special Task Introduction Course') held by MMEA. During the course, trainees will be exposed to weapon handling, tower training, helicopter-borne training, land and water navigation, survivability and other special operations skills.[3]

In the closing ceremony, trainees will be bestowed with the red beret and STAR's insignia as a symbol that they are officially accepted into the elite unit.[3]

Advanced Training[edit]

As a special operations force, STAR operators will be sent to advance training held by the Malaysian Army and Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) training centre.

On 14 November 2009, 25 operators from the STAR team took part in joint training exercises with 11 operators from PASKAL Alpha Team. They trained in close quarters combat and ship boarding and rescue, on board the KD Panglima Hitam, at the RMN Naval Base in Lumut Perak. These exercises were conducted to test whether STAR members were able to perform their duties and responsibilities. The training also involved Maritime Ship (Malay: Kapal Maritim – KM) and boat assets such as KM Gagah vessels and two Kilat boat classes from the Lumut Maritime District (MD3).[10]

Structure[edit]

Each STAR team has 25 operators. The STAR teams are spread throughout all Maritime Districts (MD, Malay: Daerah Maritim — DM) in the country.[5]

Uniforms and insignia[edit]

Special Task And Rescue (STAR) with new red beret during the 57th National Day Parade

Red Beret

STAR operators wear the scarlet red beret to differ them from other Malaysian Special Operation Forces. STAR beret using same red that has in MMEA logo.

Before using the current colour, STAR operators wear 'midnight express' colour beret.[11]

STAR Insignia

As a special forces unit, STAR gets its influence from RMN PASKAL. All STAR operators wear Gold STAR Insignia above left breast pocket same as PASKAL's Trimedia.

The various components symbolise:

  • Wing – the traditional symbol for airborne capability
  • Rope and Anchor – the traditional symbol for a naval unit
  • Two Bugis Badik – Represent skilful sailor and fighter
  • Five-pointed Star – Symbolised 'STAR' which an acronym for the 'Special Task And Rescue'

Shoulder Flash

STAR operators wear a 'STAR' tab on the right shoulder of their uniform.

Camouflage

The STAR team use US Army Universal Camouflage Pattern for their Battle Dress Uniform (BDU). STAR is the first unit ever to use digital camouflage in Malaysia which is since 2009.[12]

Responsibilities[edit]

STAR personnel prepare to enter a room during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Malaysia 2011

Equipment[edit]

Weapons

Support Items

Operations[edit]

MT Tanker MGT1 hijacking[edit]

7 September 2017 - A plan by 13 Indonesian pirates to rob and hijack Thai-registered oil tanker was foiled by a STAR team from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), near Tenggol Island. The ship, MT Tanker MGT1, had 14 crew members, all of them is Siamese, carried around 2.2 million litres of diesel with an estimated value of 7 million ringgit (1.66 million US dollars) when it disappeared from the Automatic Identification System (AIS) on Wednesday afternoon. It was on its way from Thailand to deliver fuel to Johor. The MMEA received a report from a local fisherman who spotted the pirates on a smaller boat boarding the Thai vessel – MT Tanker MGT1 – about three nautical miles from Yu Besar Island. STAR team was deployed to launch a rescue mission. The team departed for the tanker's last known location via helicopter but when they arrived, found the tanker missing. The boat was spotted near the tanker by a surveillance aircraft, warning shots were fired from the aircraft when the boat tried to escape but the attempt to stop them failed as the aircraft was running low on fuel. A team stormed the tanker, off the coast of Terengganu and arrested 10 pirates.[2] Following the arrest of the pirates and their subsequent interrogation, Malaysian authorities arrested the mastermind, an Indonesian in his 50s, at a hotel in Johor Bahru at noon.[14]

MT Lee Bo robbery[edit]

1 June 2018 - 14 pirates were arrested aboard MT Bright by a STAR team, 25 nautical miles off the coast of Mersing within Malaysian waters during a pre-dawn raid. Before the arrest, command centre reported that the pirates were robbing a Mongolian-registered merchant vessel, MT Lee Bo, and took all the crew's personal items but failed to rob the cargo as the ship was empty. Following this, KM Sebatik ship was tasked to trail Lee Bo and gather more information on the pirates. Upon reaching the ship, Sebatik crew found 12 ship crews on board the ship and the vital information that the pirates were using machetes as a weapon and their last seen position. Information was relayed to the command centre and a team of seven STAR members were scrambled using AW139 helicopters to track the pirates. The pirates' ship was identified as MT Bright, and the STAR team rappelled down from their helicopter and arrested all 14 on board. During interrogation, details on the mastermind were spilt by the pirates, and MMEA strategic partner, the Indonesian Western Fleet Quick Response - Angkatan Laut (WFQR-AL) were alerted and they managed to arrest two masterminds at Batam, Indonesia.[15][16][17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Shuib, Faridah (25 May 2011). "Komando Maritim Sedia Hadapi Kemungkinan". Utusan Online.
  2. ^ a b "Malaysia says foils hijacking of Thai tanker, 10 pirates arrested". Reuters. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Yakop, Ismail. "Majlis Penutup Kursus Pengenalan Pasukan Tindakan Khas". www.mmea.gov.my. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  4. ^ BK Maritim Hamid Md Isa (3 July 2009). "24 Members Successfully Completed The RMAF Commando Course". Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. Retrieved 26 January 2010.[dead link]
  5. ^ a b c d Hairulazim Mahmud (3 July 2009). "The Malaysian Maritime Has The Commando Forces". KOSMO. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  6. ^ Hishammuddin Hussein (28 October 2016), Majlis Pelancaran National Special Operation Force (NSOF) - 27 Oktober 2016
  7. ^ a b "Kursus Pra Asas Komando STAR Siri 5/2017". mmea.gov.my. 3 November 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Pemilihan Calon Kursus Pra Asas Komando PTK Siri 4/2015 Peringkat WILSAR". mmea.gov.my. 14 November 2014.
  9. ^ a b Yakop, Ismail. "Lapan Anggota baru PTK APMM Tamat Latihan". www.mmea.gov.my. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  10. ^ "The Malaysian Maritime STARs Close Quarters Combat and Special Ship Board Training". Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. 17 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2 December 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
  11. ^ "2012 AUG Hari Kemerdekaan Malaysia ke 55, Dataran Merdeka, Malaysia". xtemujin 360°Resources, Singapore. 31 August 2012.
  12. ^ https://www.mmea.gov.my/artikel/Tender_SebutHarga/sebutharga_april_2015/Bekalan%20Pakaian%20Celoreng%20Digital/Kenyataan%20Sebut%20Harga%20Bekalan%20Pakaian%20Celoreng%20Digital.pdf
  13. ^ a b c d http://www.malaysiandefence.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/P1010154.jpg?x80338
  14. ^ "Special MMEA team foils tanker hijack, nab 10 Indonesian pirates off Pulau Tenggol". New Straits Times. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Rompak kapal kosong, 14 ditahan". Sinar Online (in Malay). Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  16. ^ "MMEA detains 16 men for robbing empty oil tanker". The Sundaily. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  17. ^ "MMEA nabs gang of robbers with assistance of Indonesian army [NSTTV]". New Straits Times. Retrieved 3 June 2018.

External links[edit]