Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Introduction to Indonesian Elite Forces

The history of Indonesian special forces units begins when in 1952 Col. Alex Kawilarang, the commander of the 3rd Military District (Siliwangi), established a small commando-qualified unit which later will be known as Kopassus. Following its founding, several other special forces units came into existence. (Several important figures of these special forces are listed in the 'Prominent Figures' section).

Today, the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) operates several highly-trained special forces. The army has Kopassus, Kostrad and Raiders; the navy has Marines and Kopaska; the air force has Paskhas; and the police has Brimob.

Within these special forces, there are elite units that are trained to operate mainly as Anti-Terrorist/Counter-Terrorist forces. Kopassus has Sat-81 Gultor, Marines has Denjaka and Yontaifib, Paskhas has Den Bravo-90, and Brimob has Gegana and Detasemen-88.

Kostrad-own Tontaipur and Marines' Yontaifib are elite units that serve different purpose. Tontaipur and Yontaifib are trained to do combat and surveillance operations against enemy combatants. Kopaska also has the same skills as Tontaipur and Yontaifib units, but, in addition to that, Kopaska has been trained since the very beginning to operate as a counter-terrorist unit on or below water.

The elite units of TNI and Indonesian Police all have been qualified as commando units. The basic qualifications of being a commando include combat intelligence, anti-guerilla warfare, jungle warfare, jungle survival, reconnaissance operation, night infiltration, hand-in-hand combat, beach-landing operation, diving, airborne, and long-march. Further qualifications include combat free-fall, advance diving, sniper, mountaineering, computer expert, psychological warfare, and ethnic/foreign languages.

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