Tag Archive | "Kopassus"

Indonesian Special Forces And The Iron Wagon

Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus) is arguably on of the best special forces in the world with high capabilities and strength. I was sure it should be in par with SAS of UK, or Navy Seals of the US. Well, you might argue with that, but what I wanna assure you is that you can’t find a special forces with such capacity easily :)

Kopassus with their stark identity, Red Berrets

I think GNFI has posted enough entries regarding Kopassus, now i’d like to share you how one vehicle Kopassus possesses, it’s called the Casspir.


Wikipedia says:
“The Casspir is a landmine-protected personnel carrier (APC) that has been in use in South Africa for over 20 years. It is a four wheeled armoured vehicle, used for transport of troops. It can hold a crew of two, plus 12 additional soldiers and associated gear. The Casspir was unique in design when launched, providing for passive mine defence. The main body of the vehicle is V-shaped and raised above the ground, so that if a mine is detonated, the explosion is less likely to damage the crew compartment and kill the occupants. The cross-section of the hull is V-shaped, directing the force of the explosion outwards, further protecting the occupants. The vehicle is also armoured for added mine safety, as well as protection from small arms fire. The Casspir was the inspiration and prototype for the US Marines MRAP project.”

Kopassus with the Casspir (Photo: Kaskus Militer)

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They Did It In 81 Seconds!

It was one of Indonesia’s Elite Force (Kopassus). The hostages liberation by Kopassus was broadcasted LIVE in some countries, around 200 international journalist, reporter were covering the rare event at Bangkok Don Muang Int’l Airport. AND THEY DID IT IN ONLY 81 SECOND. It was WORLD’S MOST SUCCESSFUL ANTI-TERRORIST OPERATION IN THE WORLD, and followed by GSG (Germany) in Ethiopia, and Israel Special Force in Tanzania (if I am not mistaken). The 30 strong commando team member was led by Sintong Pandjaitan.

On 28th March 1981, Garuda Indonesian Airlines Flight GA 206, by DC-9 “Woyla” was en route from Palembang to Medan, a domestic flight between two Indonesian cities. The plane had flown from Jakarta at 08:00, was in transit to Palembang, and from there was scheduled to make the trip to its final destination at Medan, arrival time estimated 10:55.

Once in the air, however, two passengers got up from their seats. One went to the cockpit while the other stood in the aisle. Moments later, by 10:10, Woyla was completely under the control of five hijackers, all armed. The hijacker in the cockpit ordered the pilot to fly the plane to Colombo, Sri Lanka, but the pilot said that the fuel wouldn’t be sufficient to travel that distance. Then the plane was then flown to Penang, Malaysia.

The terrorists are from Jihad Commando group, radicals responsible for raids on police stations, military bases, and various acts of sabotage in Indonesia from 1977-1981. In the midday, Indonesian government went on red alert. Indonesia had never dealt with serious hijacking before. The first case ever was in 1974, when a desperate Marine hijacked a domestic flight for money, then he was killed by the pilot himself. In an effort to familiarize themselves with the layout of the aircraft, later that evening the newly created Indonesian’s Special Force, Kophasanda (now Kopassus), borrowed another DC-9 from Garuda Airlines and used it for combat training.

Woyla has left Malaysia after refueling, bound to Don Muang, Thailand. An old female passenger was allowed to go in Malaysia. The terrorists have declared their demand: The release of Jihad Commandos that have been imprisoned by Indonesian government, and US $ 1.5 million. They also demand a plane is prepared for the released prisoners, to an yet unspecified destination. They have bomb set on the plane. Things get harder for the Kophasanda commander. He suspects that the plane will be flown to a state in Middle East. But as the plane has been relocated from Malaysia, the step was going further for him.

Also, US Ambassador has called him and told him that US really counts on him to the safety of American citizens abroad the flight. In 21:00, 29th March, 35 members of Kophasanda left Indonesia in a DC-10, all wearing civilian clothes. Thailand government itself didn’t agree much on Indonesian choice to use military force. They preferred negotiation, the same way that ended the taking of Israeli embassy in Bangkok by Black September terrorists back in 1972. Finally, they let the military way, considering that the owner of the aircraft is Indonesian government, and all the terrorists are Indonesian nationals, from an extremist group. The CIA chief of station in Thailand met later with Kophasanda to lend them flak jackets and breaching kits for the assault.

An American journalist on the top of a bus surrounding Don Muang, woke his comrades, international journalists from Indonesia, US, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, West Germany, France, and Australia. 500 meters from Woyla, armed soldiers walked silently in the bushes. The plan was, blue team and red team would climb the wings then wait at the side doors. The windows of the plane have been blinded. While green team will breach the rear door, all will enter at the same time at the go-code.

02:43 Thailand commando team also moves in, waiting on the runway to prevent the possibility of escaping terrorists.
02:43 The go-code is given. The three teams enter, but not at the same time. Green team entered first, only to find that a terrorist was alert in the rear side of the plane. The terrorist fired, striking one assault team member in an area of his stomach unprotected by his flak jacket. Blue team and red team then entered, shot 3 terrorists on sight, as the passengers ducked and closed their eyes. The commando team shouted to the passengers, telling them to rush out. A hijacker, with grenade in hand, also ran outside and tried to throw it. But other passengers pinpointed him and the commando team finished him before the front door. The last terrorist was killed outside the plane.
02:45 With the area secure, paramedics immediately rushed to the plane to try and save the pilot who had accidentally been shot by a terrorist during the raid.

All terrorists aboard were killed. The Asian Wall Street Journal, as well as Asian and European papers praised the good work by Indonesian Special Force – Kopasandha (now Kopassus). Indonesian intelligence itself later declared that the main goal of the terrorists’ organization was to throw the government and to create an different kind of state in Indonesia.

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World’s Best Special Force

Discovery Channel Military edition 2008 broadcasted the world’s best elite forces. Elite forces from around the globe was measured by its performance and skill (not by the military technology), where military experts and analyst across the globe were invited to give their judgments. Here’s the Top 3 :

1. United Kingdom’s SAS

2. Israel’s MOSSAD

3. Indonesia’s KOPASSUS

You must be wondering why the US elite force was not included. It is because, according to the narrator, they rely heavily on military equipments, all-digitalized technology. A good special force should posses a perfect individual skill like defense, survival, camouflage, strategy, endurance, guerilla, trap-making, and others. The narrator also said that 1 Kopassus soldier is equal to 5 regular soldiers. Here’s some things for you :

1. Kopassus wins sniper championship using Indonesia’s made weaponry.

2. Kopassus ranks #2 in conducting a strategical military operation, like intelligence, deployment and movement, infiltration, and attack. The #1 rank is DELTA force, USA.

3. Countries in North Africa use 80% of their military trainers from Kopassus.

4. Cambodian special forces have long been trained by Kopassus.

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Broken Myth: Mount Everest

When my plane approached English Channel, I could clearly see the perfect snowflakes trough my seat window. I could not wait to have myself surrounded by snowy environment. But a friend who fetched me at the Heathrow airport said that the snow would only come in a month to come, so I had to wait for another 30 days and stay in London. I prayed spontaneously that God would send me snow, for at least one day, because I traveled half-globe to see it. It was answered within only less than 5 minutes, it became a snowy London. I asked my friend to pull over the car, just to let myself hit by the snowflakes all over my body. I jumped, I shouted, I took pictures.

That was exactly the same situation when a group of Indonesian Special Force (Kopassus) saw the snow for the first time, not in London, it was in Himalaya. They’re there to conquer it’s peak, the Everest. They jumped, ran around like kids, sat on ice, and exchanged snowballs to each other..it was when some other climbers whispered to their friends, ”These people from the tropic will never reach the top, not even close.”

The team spent less than 6 months for training, much lesser than the normal time which is 2 years. The most feared was Jet Stream Wind (wind sounds like jet) which can create avalanche, and drastic temperature drop. Others are High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), and Frostbite (you can easily lose your fingers and toes).

Afraid? Not those Indonesians.

At 15.30, April 26th 1997, First Corporal Asmujiono shouted, “Allahu Akbar“, and planted the Merah Putih (Indonesian flag) on top of the world, followed by his colleague, First Corporal  Misrin. They are the Southeast Asia’s first Everest Summiters, and World’s #662 and #663.

So, the myth that said people from tropical country would never reach the top of everest was eventually torn down by Indonesians.

Pic take from here.

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