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Special Operations Command
Pasukan Gerakan Khas
ڤاسوكن ڬرقن خاص
Colours of RMP Pasukan Gerakan Khas
Colours of RMP Pasukan Gerakan Khas
AbbreviationPGK
Agency overview
Formed20 October 1997; 24 years ago (1997-10-20)
Employeesc. 900+ Operators
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agencyMalaysia
Operations jurisdictionMalaysia
Primary governing bodyGovernment of Malaysia
Secondary governing bodyRoyal Malaysia Police
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed byMinistry of Home Affairs
HeadquartersBukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur
Minister responsible
Agency executive
Parent agency
Royal Malaysian Police.svg
Internal Security and Public Order Department
UnitsDetachment A – UTK
Detachment B – VAT 69
Notables
Person
Significant engagements

Pasukan Gerakan Khas (Abbreviation: PGK; 'Special Operations Command — Police SOCOM', Jawi: ڤاسوكن ڬرقن خاص) is a special operations command of the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP).[1] The PGK has two distinct sub-units; the Special Actions Unit (Malay: Unit Tindakhas — UTK) and the 69 Commando Battalion (Very Able Trooper 69 — VAT 69; Malay: 69 Komando).

Operators of UTK and VAT 69 are specially trained to intervene in high-risk events like hostage and barricade situations by hostile forces, especially terrorists and/or criminals. It originally had over 4,000 full-time operators, but its actual size and organisation are classified. Both units commonly function as a high-level national tactical team in extremely sensitive or dangerous situations.

History

Operators from both detachments under PGK. Operators from UTK wear a maroon beret while the operators from VAT 69 wear a tan beret.
Operators from both detachments under PGK. Operators from UTK wear a maroon beret while the operators from VAT 69 wear a tan beret.

Formation of Police SOCOM

On 20 October 1997, the RMP reorganised their special operations force, combining VAT 69 and UTK into one special operations command known as Pasukan Gerakan Khas (PGK; 'Special Operations Command — SOCOM'), launched by Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad and Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor.[2]

Although amalgamated into one directorate, they are essentially still two separate entities operating in two distinct operational environments.

VAT 69

Main article: VAT 69 Commando

Operator from 69 Commando CIW Team preparing to storm the enemy.
Operator from 69 Commando CIW Team preparing to storm the enemy.

The 69 Commando Battalion, also known as Very Able Troopers 69 (VAT 69), Task Force, Charlie Force and Special Project Team, is modeled on and trained by the British Special Air Service and New Zealand Special Air Service. It was founded in 1969 (hence the name – 69) as a small combat unit to counter the tactics and techniques of the communist forces of the Second Malayan Emergency.[3] Initially established as an elite counter-insurgency force, the role of counter-terrorism was added to the VAT 69 in the 1990s after the Second Malayan Emergency officially ended.[citation needed]

UTK

Main article: Special Actions Unit (Malaysia)

Four UTK operatives on standby. They are armed with MP5-Ns equipped with Aimpoint CompM2 Sight and Insight Technology flashlight.
Four UTK operatives on standby. They are armed with MP5-Ns equipped with Aimpoint CompM2 Sight and Insight Technology flashlight.

Unit Tindakhas ('Special Actions Unit'), popularly known with its acronym UTK, is a special forces unit of RMP and the oldest and most experienced counter-terrorism unit in Malaysia.

It performs as a high-level national police tactical unit, providing 24 hours of close protection to high ranking government executives and their spouses, and the unit's members also undertake undercover missions. Founded on 1 January 1975, UTK is the brainchild of then Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar.[4] UTK were trained by the 22nd SAS for urban warfare on its early establishment.

However, this unit does not only perform close-quarter combat and close-protection only, but they also have the capability to perform underwater mission, airborne mission, and sometimes jungle operation since 1975 to encounter various types of terrorism.

National Special Operations Force

In 2016, the main counter-terrorism operators in Malaysia, including PGK, were combined into one special operations task force called the National Special Operations Force.[5]

Functions

PGK roles are believed to include:

Organisation

Previously separate entities, both VAT 69 and the UTK were amalgamated into the PGK Command on 20 October 1997, when it was launched by the fifth Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Rahim Noor. However, VAT 69 and the UTK are still operated as separate units. The UTK is now officially known as Pasukan Gerakan Khas Detachment A and VAT 69 has been deputised to Pasukan Gerakan Khas Detachment B.

Based at the Royal Malaysia Police Headquarters in Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur, the PGK is under the direct command of the RMP's Internal and Public Security (Malay: Keselamatan Dalam Negeri dan Ketenteraman Awam) Director. The unit commander holds the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner (SAC) and is the Deputy Director of the Internal and Public Security Branch.

With the growing threat of terrorism since the 9/11 attacks, this unit has increasingly adapted itself to conduct counter-terrorism duties.[7] With the aim of creating teams that are capable of dealing with a broad range of operations (especially counter-terrorism), the PGK small patrol team consist of six to ten operatives led by officers ranked from Police Inspector to Superintendent of Police with different expertise such as assault units, EOD experts, communications experts, snipers and field medics. The PGK has also forged closer relations with the special forces units of the Malaysian Armed Forces, including the elite 10th Parachute Brigade, 21 Grup Gerak Khas, PASKAL and PASKAU, so as to enable them to enforce security within Malaysia's borders more effectively.[citation needed]

Roles

List of PGK detachments and their Specialties
Detachment Unit Name Insignia Speciality Notes
A Special Actions Unit

Unit Tindakhas

Crest of the Special Actions Unit.PNG
Counter-terrorist and VIP close protection UTK has a variety of roles in addition to helping other branch's duties in large and serious cases.[8] The UTK is tasked in four main roles which is:
  1. Fighting urban guerrillas, terrorist groups, groups of subversive and extremist organizations.
  2. Assist the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in major criminal cases.
  3. Conducting safety protection to local VIPs and foreign visitors if may be deemed necessary.
  4. Other responsibilities as directed by the Inspector-General of Police and the Deputy Inspector-General of Police.

The UTK tactics and organisation are primarily influenced by the German GSG 9 and American Special Activities Division but with a difference; UTK operatives operate mostly in plain-clothes and also perform undercover missions. With 410 members (as of November 2017),[9] the UTK is deployed in cases of hostage taking, kidnapping, terrorism and extortion. The group may also be used to secure locations, neutralise targets, track down fugitives and sometimes conduct sniper operations and escorting and protecting top leaders and VVIPs.[10][11] UTK operators are trained for urban operations,[12] airborne operations and underwater operations.

B 69 Commando Battalion
Crest of the Special Operations Command.svg
Multi-spectrum operations VAT 69 commando operatives are jungle warfare specialists given VAT 69's origins as a force established to fight the communist threats in 1969 and the insurgency years. Originally trained by the British and New Zealand SAS, VAT 69 commandos conduct land, sea and air special operations techniques, with specialties in jungle warfare and deep reconnaissance missions. They execute special operations in support of the Police Special Branch fight against subversive organisations and terrorist activities, such as offensive operations using special weapons and tactics, hostage rescue, counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, and close protection. It can also be deployed to support the Malaysian Armed Forces in special circumstances.[1][13]

There are four infantry squadrons in VAT 69 Commando with its own logistic unit, totaling around 500 members.[14] The VAT 69 consists of four main combat units:[15][16]

  • Counter Insurgency Warfare (CIW) Unit
  • Counter Terrorist Team (CTT)
  • Airborne Team
  • Combat Diving Unit

Both VAT 69's and UTK's snipers, technicians and explosive expertise regularly cross-train with foreign special forces units, including the Special Air Service Regiments of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the Royal Thai Border Patrol Police, the French GIGN,[17] the German GSG 9,[17] and a number of US services including the US Navy SEALs,[17] Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),[17] Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT)[17] and others. UTK members wear maroon berets while VAT 69 Commando members wear the sand coloured beret given to them by their founding trainers, the SAS.

On 14 November 2006, for the first time in the history of PGK, the maroon and sand coloured berets were honoured as 'Royal Berets' by Yang Dipertuan Agong Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putera Jamalullail, the then King of Malaysia.

Area of responsibility

Officers from the Special Actions Unit, Royal Malaysia Police, on the Kia Rapid Intervention Vehicle at the Sultan Abdul Samad Street for the 2015 National Day Parade in Kuala Lumpur. They dons the new Marine Ops Core tactical helmets and new Ferfrans SOAR carbines.
Officers from the Special Actions Unit, Royal Malaysia Police, on the Kia Rapid Intervention Vehicle at the Sultan Abdul Samad Street for the 2015 National Day Parade in Kuala Lumpur. They dons the new Marine Ops Core tactical helmets and new Ferfrans SOAR carbines.

The PGK divides areas of responsibility of both PGK detachments by states which are:

Detachment A (UTK) Detachment B (VAT 69)
Johor Pahang
Kuala Lumpur Penang
Malacca Perak
Negeri Sembilan Perlis
Putrajaya Kedah
Selangor Kelantan
Terengganu

For Sabah and Sarawak, it is under the responsibility of General Operations Force (GOF) Special Forces Equivalent Unit; Tiger Platoon from GOF Sabah Brigade and GOF Sarawak Brigade. The Tiger Platoons are supported by both PGK detachments.

Recruitment, selection and training

Several UTK operatives moving during a close quarters combat drill at the killing house. The first operative is equipped with a tactical shield.
Several UTK operatives moving during a close quarters combat drill at the killing house. The first operative is equipped with a tactical shield.

Both VAT 69 and UTK has their own recruitment and selection program. All members of the RMP with two years of service can apply to the unit selections.

The PGK is known to conduct joint training exercises and participate in exchange programs with Commonwealth special units such as the Australian SAS, British SAS, New Zealand SAS and Singapore Special Tactics and Rescue. The PGK routinely trains with neighbouring country tactical teams such as the Indonesian Mobile Brigade and Thailand Border Patrol Police. Occasionally, the PGK trains with FBI Hostage Rescue Team, French GIGN and RAID, German GSG 9,[18] Italian NOCS, Spanish G.E.O, US Delta Force, US Green Berets,[19] US Army Special Operations Command Pacific Unit (SOCPAC), Russian Special Rapid Response Unit[18] and other international units.

On 10 December 2003, the then Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Mohd Bakri Haji Omar, launched the training programme between the US SOCPAC and the 69th PGK at the General Operations Force Training Center in Ulu Kinta, Perak. The team of SOCPAC were to conduct a joint exercise with the PGK, under the code-name 'Advance Vector Balance Mint' for a duration of 2 weeks.[20] Only 42 out of the 194 participants completed the inaugural programme.

PGK equipment

UTK operators with new Battle Dress Uniforms on standby at the Centre Brigade of General Operations Force Base, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. They are armed with American-made FERFRANS SOAR compact carbines and the Remington M870 Police Magnum.
A 69 Commando operative with digital BDU on standby during the 60th Merdeka Day at Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur. He is armed with a Belgian-made FN SCAR-H battle rifle fitted with an EOTech sight.

PGK teams use equipment designed for a variety of specialist situations. The particular pieces of equipment vary from unit to unit, but there are some consistent trends in what they wear and use. Much of their equipment is indistinguishable from that supplied to the military, not least because much of it is military surplus.

Weapons

As a special forces command, the PGK's detachments are equipped with a wide variety of weapons and support equipment commonly associated with counter-terrorism operations, including sub-machine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, machine guns and sniper rifles.[13]

Semi-automatic pistols are the most popular sidearms and the majority of the officers use various 9 mm pistols. Principal handguns include:

Various shotguns used by PGK units include:

Common sub-machine guns used by all PGK teams include:

Common carbines include:

Common sniper rifles used are:

Machine guns used by VAT 69 include:

Various grenade launchers used by PGK units include:

Less lethal weapons used include:

Notes

Tactical vehicles

UTK operators using a Ford Explorer Sport Trac type as a Rapid Intervention Vehicle for vehicular assault.
UTK operators using a Ford Explorer Sport Trac type as a Rapid Intervention Vehicle for vehicular assault.

PGK employs a number of specialised vehicles to accomplish its missions. These include the Commando V-150D and the GKN Sankey AT105 armoured personnel carriers equipped with M60s as assault vehicles in urban and jungle terrain as well as modified police MPV (Mobile Patrol Vehicles), vans, trucks, 4WD, pick-ups and buses for use as tactical vehicles. PGK also employs RHIB assault boats, jet-skis and Marine Subskimmers (DPV) in maritime missions and amphibious insertions.

For its airborne operations, PGK is aided with the C-130 Hercules from the Royal Malaysian Air Force, and Cessna 206G, Cessna 208 Caravan 1 and Pilatus Porter PC-6 aircraft as well as the E-Squirrel AS-355 F2/AS-355N helicopter from the RMP Air Wing Unit.

Developments and acquisitions

On 25 October 2007, a state-of-the-art shooting house for the VAT 69 Commando battalion was opened. It was funded by the US Joint Interagency Task Force West and cost RM 2 million.[22]

List of Unit Commanders

Listed below are the unit commanders past & present.

List of Pasukan Gerakan Khas Commander
Name Year Remark
SUPT G/640 M. Shanmugam 1975 – 1976 First commanding officer of the PGK
SUPT G/3158 Ramli Abd Kadir 1976 – 1978 Replaced Supt. Shanmugam
ACP G/2827 Syed Mohd Mumtaz Wafa Syed Subli Wafa 1978 – 1983 -
ACP G/3740 A Navaratnam 1983 – 1986 First commanding officer and head of VAT 69
DSP G/5439 Meor Chek Hussein Mahayuddin 1986 – 1987 Assistant commanding officer of the PGK
ACP G/3421 Mohd Yusof Harun 1987 – 1990 -
ACP G/3432 Haji Idris Haji Wahid 1990 – 1993 -
SAC I G/5439 Dato' Meor Chek Hussien Mahayuddin 1993 – 2000 1997 Merged VAT 69 and UTK to Pasukan Gerakan Khas
SAC II G/5096 Dato' Mohd Anuar Mohd Zain 2000 – 2002 -
SAC II Roslan Mohd Yassin 2002 – 2004 PGK Commander from 2002 and transferred to Pahang state as the Officer Chief of Police Contingent in 2004
SAC II Mohd Rani Abd Rashid 2004 – 2006 From Deputy Director of Internal and Public Security in Royal Malaysian Police
SAC II Muhammad Sabtu Osman 2006 – 2008 Transferred to Kuala Lumpur as Kuala Lumpur Police Chief
SAC I Dato' Muhammad Fuad Abu Zarin 2008 – 2015 Replaced SAC II Muhammad Sabtu Osman
SAC Dato' Azizan Abd. Aziz 2015 – Present Replaced SAC I Dato' Muhammad Fuad Abu Zarin

Personnel killed in the line of duty

Main article: List of Malaysian police officers killed in the line of duty

Rank Name Unit Year of death Circumstances
ASP G/3427 ("Task Force") Mohd Zabri Abdul Hamid SP VAT 69 1975 Sustained fatal injuries from stepping onto a booby-trap while intercepting and hunting down communist guerillas who were responsible for the murder of four Extra Police Constable at Grik, Perak.[23]
PC 67574 ("Task Force") Zainuddin Hassan VAT 69 1984 Killed by a communist sniper while assisting a Police Field Force trapped in an ambush by communist guerillas at Ulu Kinta jungle, Perak
Cpl Ismail Ibrahim VAT 69 2000 Parachuting accident during basic training course at PGK B Training Facility, Ulu Kinta, Perak
Cpl 110992 Idrus Johar VAT 69
Insp G/17992 Zulkifli Bin Mamat VAT 69 2013 Killed during an ambush during the 2013 Lahad Datu standoff in Lahad Datu, Sabah.
Cpl 113088 Sabaruddin Bin Daud VAT 69
Cpl 148953 Mohd Razkan Seran UTK 2015 Killed in a helicopter crash in a jungle along Jalan Sungai Lalang in Kampung Pasir Baru, Semenyih, Kajang, while escorting Member of Parliament for Rompin, Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis, from Pahang to Subang.

Missions

Further information: Al-Ma'unah § Sauk Siege, and 2013 Lahad Datu standoff

Two operatives of UTK including one female operator armed with MP5-N sub-machine guns during the CQC drill.
Two operatives of UTK including one female operator armed with MP5-N sub-machine guns during the CQC drill.

Operations Dawn

Its first counter-terrorism mission, one of the most well-known and which established the unit's reputation as an elite unit, was an operation known as "Operasi Subuh"/"Operasi Khas 304" ('Operations Dawn/Special Operation 304'). It was carried out on 3 July 2000 against Al-Ma'unah militants who had stolen 94 M16 rifles, 2 Steyr AUG rifles, 4 general purpose machine guns (GPMG), 6 light machine guns , 5 M203 grenade launchers, 26 bayonet daggers and thousands of ammunition rounds from 2 control posts of the Rejimen Askar Wataniah ('Territorial Army Regiment') camp in Kuala Rui, Perak. The militants also took two police officers, one army special forces soldier and one villager as hostages and planned to launch attacks against the government.[24]

In the dawn of 5 July 2000, police and military units created a distraction, while members of the PGK, accompanied by the 22nd Commando Regiment (22 Cdo) of Grup Gerak Khas led by Malaysian Army senior officer Lieutenant general (R) Zaini Mohamad Said and PGK 69 Commando leader ASP Abd Razak Mohd Yusof were sent to Sauk, Perak to negotiate with the Al-Ma'unah leader, Mohamed Amin Mohamed Razali.

Amin, along with his comrades, were persuaded to drop their weapons and surrender to the security forces. Although most of the group initially surrendered, negotiations eventually broke down and a gunfight ensued. Two of the four hostages were killed before the group finally surrendered. The security forces suffered two casualties: police Special Branch officer, Detective Corporal R. Sanghadevan and Trooper Matthew anak Medan from 22 Cdo, who were tortured before they were killed and was buried by the other two hostages, Sergeant (R) Mohd Shah Ahmad and civilian Jaafar Puteh, in the jungle before they were both rescued by security forces. Abdul Halim Ali @ Ahmad, a member of the militant group, was shot dead in the gunfight and five others were injured, including two seriously injured. The other twenty-two were taken into police custody.[25] Mohamed Amin, Zahit Muslim, Jemari Jusoh and Jamaludin Darus were later sentenced to death and the other sixteen were sentenced to life imprisonment. Ten more militants were sentenced to ten years in prison by the High Court of Malaysia for war preparations against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.[26][27]

Publicly known missions

UTK officers riding the Honda ST1300 escorted the VVIP vehicles out to the exit gate of Parliament Square after the 52nd Independence Day Parade on 31 August 2009.
UTK officers riding the Honda ST1300 escorted the VVIP vehicles out to the exit gate of Parliament Square after the 52nd Independence Day Parade on 31 August 2009.
The model of 69 Commando PGK with the HALO/HAHO equipment.
The model of 69 Commando PGK with the HALO/HAHO equipment.

Main article: PASKAU § Genting Sempah Incident

A UTK officer using a battering ram to performing a door breaching during the CQC drill.
A UTK officer using a battering ram to performing a door breaching during the CQC drill.

In popular culture

Books, television and movies

See also

References

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Further reading