Indonesian Special Operations

Jala Mengkara Detachment (Denjaka)

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The Jala Mangkara Detachment (Detasemen Jala Mangkara / Denjaka) is an elite special operations forces of the Indonesian Navy. It is a combined detachment formed from selected personnel of the Navy’s Underwater Special Unit (KOPASKA) and the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion (Batalyon Intai Amfibi Yontaifib).

The Detachment was formed in 1984 by the Chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces to counter maritime strategic threats including, but not limited to, terrorism and sabotage. Despite the specific reason for its formation, as in the case of any other special operations forces around the world, the Detachment is also fully trained in conducting reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, and clandestine behind-enemy-lines operations.


On November 4, 1982, the Navy Chief of Staff issued a decree (No. Skep/2848/XI/1982) forming a task force called Naval Special Forces (Pasusla) to fulfill the need for a maritime special operations forces capable of countering terrorism and sabotage. In the initial phase, 70 personnel from the Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion and Underwater Special Unit (or Navy Frogman) were recruited to form Pasusla. Trainings for this new unit was under the command of the Western Fleet commander with assistance from the Commandant of the Marine Corps, while the Navy Chief of Staff acted as the operational commander of Pasusla. The unit was based at the Western Fleet Command Headquarter, Jakarta.

Upon further development of this unit, on November 13, 1984, the Navy Chief of Staff requested the Chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces to form Denjaka. The Chief of the Armed Forces approved the request and through the issuance of an approval letter (No. R/39/08/9/2/SPN), Pasusla changed into Denjaka and was designated as a Naval Counter-Terrorism Detachment.


According to the directive of the Navy Chief of Staff, Denjaka is a Marine Corps Task Force under the Indonesian Navy, with the Commandant of the Marine Corps holding responsibilities for general trainings, while specific trainings fall under the responsibilities of the Chief of Armed Forces Strategic Intelligence Agency. Operational command falls directly under the Chief of the Armed Forces.

Denjaka consists of one Detachment Headquarter, one Command Element, one Engineering Element and three Combat Elements.


In the initial phase, 70 personnel from Amphibious Reconnaissance Unit and Underwater Special Unit or Navy Frogman were recruited to form Pasusla. The trainings for this new unit was under the command of Western Fleet commander with the assistance from the Marine Corps commander. The Navy chief of staff was the operational commander for Pasusla. Western Fleet Command Headquarter became the units base.

Upon further development of this unit, Navy chief of staff requested Indonesian Armed Forces commander to form Denjaka. The armed forces commander agreed to this request and since then Denjaka became the Naval Anti-Terror Unit. According to Navy chief of staff direction, Denjaka is a Marines special unit that has the responsibilities to be capable to conduct anti-terror, anti-sabotage, and naval clandestine operations under direct command of armed forces commander.
Training Method

Denjaka recruitment process started after the conclusion of Para and Commando trainings. Before enrolling in Denjaka training, the troop must have been qualified to become an amphibious surveillance unit member. In its operation, the unit must be able to reach the operational target via sea, underwater, or airborne. This unit has been conducting several joint-practices with the US Navy SEAL teams.

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