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SOF In Malaysia


GGKMalaysian SOF consists of Grup Gerak Khas (GGK), Pasukan Khas Laut (Paskal), VAT 69 and Unit Tindakan Khas (UTK). Malaysia also has an elite Rapid Deployment Force (a size of a Brigade) called Pasukan Aturgerak Cepat (PAC), but it was not considered as a Special Operations unit.

GGK is the largest SOF element in Malaysia. It is basically a commando regiment in the Malaysian Army Corps. The mission of the GGK is to provide a squadron to locate, report, harass and disrupt the enemy through long range infiltration as well as operating in close collaboration with guerilla or partisan forces. GGK will also plan, prepare for, and when directed, deploy to conduct unconventional warfare, internal defense, special reconnaissance and direct actions etc. in support of Government policy objectives within designated areas of responsibility.

GGK continually train to conduct unconventional warfare in any of its forms - Guerilla / Anti-Guerilla Warfare, Escape and Evasion, Subversion, Sabotage, Counter Terrorist  and their most highly regarded expertise - Jungle Warfare. It has an awesome reputation in operations against the communist terrorists. The troopers are also schooled in direct action operations and special reconnaissance. Currently, there are 3 fully equipped regiments (21st, 22nd & 11st GGK). GGK had seen action in Cambodia, Somalia, western Sahara, Namibia and Bosnia among others.

The Royal Malaysian Navy set up its sea commando unit called Special Naval Force or Paskal by its Malay acronym in 1980. The unit was established using commando-trained officers and men from the services Security Regiment. Some of its personnel are stationed in man-made 'islands' in the Spratlys and in strategic areas within the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Paskal is equipped with the latest hi-tech weaponry as their operations is partly supported by a group of oil consortium (one of the Paskal's main missions is to protect oil rigs in the Malaysian coastal area).

In those days of communist insurgency, Malaysian police had a paramilitary arm called Pasukan Polis Hutan (PPH). They had several battalions and among them was the elite one, known as 69th Commando Battalion or VAT 69. It was actually formed in 1969 (hence the name - 69). The normal police too had an elite unit - Unit Tindakan Khas (UTK). UTK had a SWAT-like function as well as close protection roles. After the communist terrorist laid down arms in 1989, VAT 69 had problems finding a proper role. Finally on December 1997, the PPH was renamed as Pasukan Gerakan Am (PGA) while UTK and 69th Commando Battalion was disbanded and merged. It was then called Pasukan Gerakan Khas (PGK).

The Royal Malaysian Air Force once had a commando unit codenamed Handau or (maybe) Pasukan Khas TUDM. Officially, Handau is not recognized as an SOF unit by the Malaysian Armed Forces. The tentative "special forces" designation is probably due to the unit's airborne capability. Some GGK members were also roped in to join Handau at its formation. Lately, the RMAF had formed a regiment called the Regimen TUDM containing Handau as well as the CART (Combat Air Rescue Team). The purpose of Regimen TUDM is to conduct combat search and rescue mission (CSAR) to recover downed pilots behind enemy lines or hostile territory, but they are much more popular with life-saving services to the civilians (courtesy flights etc.). Other than that, Regimen TUDM may also search and eliminate enemy troops who execute sabotage against RMAF air bases.


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