May 4, 2010

Navy and air force test preparedness for enemy attacks


EARDRUM-busting sounds of rockets and machine-gunfire echoed through a dark and starry night over the Straits of Malacca near Pangkor Island.

A hostile presence was then caught on the radar of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) vessels — KD Lekiu, KD Sri Indera Sakti and KD Kedah.

The Royal Malaysian Navy Special Forces (Paskal) dropping off from a helicopter to reclaim the "hijacked" KD Sri Indera Sakti from "terrorists" during an anti-terrorism exercise along the Straits of Malacca near Pangkor Island recently.

Projectiles were launched and within minutes, the threat was destroyed in a burst of flame.

This was a scenario that the RMN put up to show members of the media fraternity on how they operate during an attack.

Members of the media were invited by the navy to have a rare insight on their routine exercises at sea recently.

KD Lekiu commanding officer Commander Mohamad Azuwan Harun said the exercise was as close as it would be to a real war.

“All exercises are done realistically to prepare crew members for any eventuality they may have to face in the future. The exercises also teach them the importance of teamwork and decision-making,” he added.

He said the exercise also aimed to test the capabilities and competence of the naval ships.

He noted that this was to ensure that the ships were always in tip-top condition and ready to be sent out for missions.

Earlier, the navy was also involved in an anti-terrorist exercise when its Special Forces (Paskal) team was deployed to reclaim a ‘hijacked’ KD Sri Indera Sakti from terrorists.

The ships also participated in an anti-air and tactical exercise where they had to detect and track down enemy planes.

RMN fleet commander Vice-Admiral Datuk Seri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin, who was also present during the exercise, gave a commentary on the navy’s operations for the pressmen.

Calling for reinforcement: A KD Lekiu crew member guiding the Superlinx helicopter onto the ship’s landing pad during the exercise.

He said fighter jets from the Royal Malaysian Air Force were used during the exercise.

Pressmen were also shown how the navy crew members transferred goods from ship to ship via a jackstay procedure using rope and pulley.

During the day-long exercise, pressmen were also given a tour inside the ships and briefed on the functions of the various sections.
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