Malaysian Special Operations

21 Grup Gerak Khas

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Grup Gerak Khas is a brigade sized formation that acts as the command element and coordinates and deploys the 3 special forces battalions of the Malaysian Army. It is the administrative and operational group to which the 3 regiments of the Rejimen Gerak Khas and its supporting units is subordinated.

21 Gerup Gerak Khas is commanded by a Brigadier General and is currently located at Kem Iskandar, in Mersing, Johor. 21 Gerup Gerak Khas comprised commandos highly trained in special warfare and able to conduct unconventional warfare in any of its forms – Guerilla/Anti-Guerilla Warfare, Escape and Evasion, Subversion, Sabotage, Counter Terrorism and their most highly regarded expertise – Jungle Warfare.


The Special Forces Directorate was established in the Ministry of Defense, Allahyarham Tun Abdul Razak bin Hussein on 1960s to coordinate the operations of the special forces regiments were the incident Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation. This unit is partly based on by the 40th Royal Marines Commandos and was then called Malaysian Special Service Unit. In January 1981, Markas Grup Gerak Khas was established in Imphal Camp, Kuala Lumpur to act as the Brigade Headquarters for the 3 special forces regiments . The headquarters group would also include combat support units and service support units.

Gerup Gerak Khas was renamed 21 Gerup Gerak Khas which formalizes the formation as the 21st brigade group in the Malaysian Army.


21 Gerup Gerak Khas (GGK) HQ

21 Gerup Gerak Khas is the operational command structure that coordinate and integrate the activities of the 3 regiments of the Malaysian Army’s Rejimen Gerak Khas. Attached to this command structure are Signals, engineers and other support arms units.

Commando Regiment

21 and 22 Rejimen Gerak Khas are the two commando regiments of Rejimen Gerak Khas, configured for commando operations and forced entry assaults. There are approximately 1,800 men in the 2 commando regiments. The 2 regiments specializes in Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol, Sabotage, Covert Operations, Airborne assault, Amphibious Assault and other commando operations. They closely resemble the Royal Marines Commando, and each regiment has specialized squadrons such as the special boat squadron and mobility squadron.

Special Forces Regiment

The 11 Regiment is called the Special Forces as it specializes the more refined special forces art of sabotage, HRT, SBS, CRW etc. This regiment is smaller compared to 21 and 22 Commando, and is organized into 4 Sabre Squadrons. Only those who have served no less than 8 years in the Commando Regiments are eligible for selection.

Special Forces Operational Cell

The Operational Cell is a small group of around 100 personnel, tasked with planning and coordination of resources and equipment of Gerup Gerak Khas. The cell also provides assistance during operational deployment of Gerup Gerak Khas units and formulate policy guidelines. The Cell also undertakes Planning and Intelligence tasks as well as Operational Research.


Pusat Latihan Peperangan Khas (PULPAK) or Special Warfare Training Centre was formed on 1 August 1976. Before its inception, all GGK personnel training was conducted by 1st RGK (now 21st GGK). However, 21st, 22nd and 11th GGK are still supporting PULPAK by providing manpower and expertise. The role of SWTC is to provide specialized courses and training for all army personnel in accordance with current situation:
• To conduct basic commando training for the Malaysian Army and other services (Navy, Air Force).
• To train personnel of Special Operations Forces as well as other soldiers in specialized training and special operations as required by higher authority.
• To conduct advanced training for Special Operations Forces and army personnel as directed by higher authority.
• To conduct training evaluation test on Special Operations Forces Units.
• To provide observers and qualified instructors for specialized assignments in Special Operations Forces Units.
• To revise and analyze all doctrines pertaining to specialized training and operations.

Courses conducted at PULPAK: (Some advanced courses are still classified)


• Basic Commando Course
• Basic Sniping Course
• Basic Hill Climbing Course


• Small Patrol Team Course
• Special Forces Officer Course
• Combat Intelligence Course
• Abseiling & Air Rescue Course
• Close Quarters Battle (CQB) Course

Self Defense

• Special Forces Martial Arts (Seni Tempur Gerak Khas)


• Basic Para Rigger & Maintenance Course
• Rigger Inspection & Maintenance Course


• Basic Paratrooper Course
• Basic Free Fall Course
• Parachute Instructor Course
• Pathfinder (PANDURA – Pandu Arah Udara) Course


• Medical Diving Course
• Small Patrol Team Medical Course
• Chamber Operator Course


• Small Craft Driving Course
• Basic Diving Course
• 1st, 2nd, 3rd Class Combat Diving Course
• Special Explosive Course


GGK train a lot with the Indonesian Kopassus as their base is less than one hour by helicopter across the Straits of Malacca from Sungai Udang. The GGK and Kopassus enjoy a close relationship. GGK also trains with SAS (United Kingdom / New Zealand / Australia) as well as US Army’s 1st Special Forces Group (1st Bn, Okinawa) and USMC’s Force Recon units. 1 Bn / 1 SFG usually drops by a few times a year and they are well liked.

Basic commando course are divided into several phase : Camp Training, Jungle Training, Swamp Training & Long Range March, Sea Training, E & E (Escape & Evasion) and HALO/HAHO.

Camp Training

Organized in 5 weeks, this phase is actually the most important level to test and develop individual physical & mental resistant. Physical, weapons, explosive, tactical & stratagem (muslihat), field medical, rappelling / abseiling and map reading is among the exercises conducted. The trainees are also required to undergo several series of long range march with full combat load. Range will be increase from 4.8km, 8km, 11.2km, 14km to 16km respectively. Usually, some of the trainees failed to arrive to designated checkpoint within the stipulated time and they will be sent back to their original unit or other services (“turun skot” – according to the Army’s lingo).

Jungle Training

This 2 week jungle training is a favorite among the trainees. This is where the trainees will be exposed to practical training, field skills & know-how such as guarding & patrolling, establishing base, survival and section / troop combat.

Swamp Training & Long Range March

In this phase, all trainees are subject to undergo a tough combat march along with their 15kg pack (130km in just 1 and a half day!!). Those who succeeded, will continue to live in the swampy area for 7 days without food supply or proper clothing (they wore only the underwear) . They will practice all survival lessons here.

Sea Training

The sea training is conducted in 2 weeks, where the trainees are exposed to practical exercises such as small craft navigation, long range / silence rowing and coastal attack using high-speed inflatable boats and kayaks. After completing the ‘curriculum’, they will travel 160km along the Straits of Malacca using kayaks.

Escape & Evasion (E&E)

All trainees are deployed in groups and they must report to several agents at designated checkpoints. They must know how to contact their agents and evade from the “enemy” who controls that area. If they are caught, they will be tortured and abused. The trainees will then be released and continue their journey until they arrive at the last checkpoint.


Sungai Udang Camp was certified as the ‘Home of the Commandos’. Its achievements attracted many volunteers from other corps. Lieutenant Colonel Borhan bin Ahmad was the first administrator of MSSG responsible for expanding the Special Operations Forces. Various activities including sports and other Army activities were organized to get the SOF involved. Joint programs are conducted with other countries such as Britain, New Zealand, Australia and the United States of America to improve knowledge and get new experiences in special aspects of SOF operations. In the Third Malaysia Plan and the expansion of the Armed Forces, Special Warfare Training Centre (SWTC) was established on 1 August 1976. The function is to fulfill the training requirements for the Special Forces Team. After the establishment of SWTC, the Second Regiment of Special Service was established on 1 January 1977. All the three units were based in Sungai Udang, Melaka. In 1979, SWTC was fully established with Colonel Borhan bin Ahmad as the Commandant The Special Forces Directorate was established in the Ministry of Defense on 4 April 1980. Further to this, in January 1981, Markas Grup Gerak Khas was established in Imphal Camp, Kuala Lumpur. The establishment of the Special Operations Forces group also involved other elements such as the combat support units and service support units. At the same time the names of the commando units were redesignated to 21st Regiment Para Commando and 22nd Regiment Para Commando. The 11th and 12th Special Service Regiment were established in Sungai Udang Camp on 1 April 1981. The two regiments were to assist in commando duties. In line with the Armed Forces organization, the 12th Special Service Regiment was disbanded and its members were deployed to other combat units. Further to this development, the designation for the Para Commando Regiment was changed to the Commando Regiment. In 1983, 22nd Commando Regiment moved to Kuala Kubu Baru due to insufficient facilities in Sungai Udang Camp. All three as well as the Royal Malaysian Navy’s Paskal will be soon moving out to the new SOF base in Mersing, facing the South China Sea unlike the Sungai Udang which is facing the very busy waterway of the Straits of Malacca. Sungai Udang Camp is very small and lacking in many facilities for a good SOF base and training centre. It is also near a massive oil refinery and countless condominium projects which make it no good for security and practical reasons.


Grup Gerak Khas will equipped with the most advanced and complete technology of all the units in the Malaysian elite forces. GGK’s equipment is not repaired when damaged, but instead updated to the new model.

  • Sidearms: Browning HP, Colt M1911, Glock 17, Glock 19, HK P9S, HK Mark 23, Sig Sauer P226.
  • Shotguns: Benelli M3, Franchi SPAS-12, Franchi SPAS-15, Mossberg 500, Remington M870 Tactical, Remington M1100.
  • Submachineguns: HK MP5 (different variants).
  • Assault Rifles: Colt M4A1, Colt M16A1 (Model 635), HK G36C, Sig 552, Steyr AUG.
  • Sniper Rifles: Accuracy International AWM, HK MSG90, HK PSG-1.
  • Machineguns: M60, FN Minimi.
  • Grenade Launchers: M203, M79

GGK First Personnel

There’s the first personals of GGK and the first nucleus of this groups:

  • Major Abu Hassan bin Abdullah (Colonel Retired)
  • Lieutenant Mohd Ramli bin Ismail (Major General Retired)
  • Second Lieutenant Ghazali bin Ibrahim (Major General Retired)
  • Second Lieutenant Hussin bin Awang Senik (Colonel Retired)
  • 6842 Sergeant Ariffin bin Mohamad
  • 300152 Sergeant Anuar bin Talib
  • 4861 Sergeant Zakaria bin Adas
  • 201128 Sergeant Yahya bin Darus
  • 202072 Corporal Silva Dorai
  • 203712 Corporal Moo Kee Fah
  • 13852 Lance Corporal Johari bin Haji Morhd Siraj
  • 10622 Lance Corporal Sabri bin Ahmad



The blue color symbolizes close relationship between the Malaysian Special Service Group with 40th Royal Marine Commando (British) . The formation of Malaysian Special Service Group (MSSG) was initiated by 40th Royal Marine Commando which was also responsible for the training and imparting of specialized skills to these selected personnel. Personnel of 40th Royal Marine Commando and Special Forces Units wear the traditional blue lanyards.


All qualified personnel of Special Forces are awarded the green berets. Green beret is also a commonly worn headgear of the other Special Forces in the world. The green color also symbolizes the Islamic color – the official religion of Malaysia. Tiger. Tiger denotes bravery. The mean and unwaning features of the tiger potrays ferocity and might. These characteristics are to be possessed and portrayed by personnel of the Special Forces.


The dagger symbolizes the essence of decisiveness, steadfastness and inherent ability of rationalization possessed by personnel of the Special Forces. The unsheathed dagger portray the status of combat readiness of the Special Forces Units which are ever ready for all eventualities at all times. Its vertical alignment denotes the spirit and aspiration of the Special Forces personnel.

Cepat dan Cergas

The slogan ‘Cepat Dan Cergas’ (Fast & Agile) is chosen in accordance with the role and tasks of the special forces. Its personnel must be efficient, nimble and brave.


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