Pasukan Khas Laut (Special Maritime Unit, Paskal) is an elite navy commando unit and special operations force in Malaysia. “Pasukan Khas Laut” (PASKAL) was formed on 1 October 1982 with the explicit purpose of enforcing Malaysia’s maritime claims through sea, air and land operations (similar to the United States Navy SEALs).
In 1975, the Royal Malaysian Navy saw a need for a security team trained in modern maritime warfare. Its main purpose was to protect naval bases and national assets all over Malaysia. The first batch of 30 officers were sent to the Central Commando Training Center located at Kem Sg Udang, Melaka where they were trained by the elite Malaysian Grup Gerak Khas, Indonesian KOPASKA, UK Royal Marines Commandos and US Navy SEALs.
On October 1, 1980, PASKAL was officially established when the Government begin to enforce its EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) which covers 200 nautical miles off Malaysia’s waters. In addition, there was a requirement to protect Malaysian offshore stations near the disputed Spratly Islands.
As a Special Forces unit, Paskal’s personnel must be mentally and physically agile. Every new trainees are required to undergo 3 months of basic commando training at RMN Lumut Naval Base and then, they will be sent to SWTC (Special Warfare Training Centre), Sungai Udang to experience basic parachuting and diving. Those who passed the grueling training process, will continue to withstand the Advanced First Class training. Paskal’s personnel are given specialize courses in several fields such as medical, communications, explosives and electrical / mechanical repairing. They are also required to pass a physical test once for every three months. Among the test conducted:
- 7.8km running in 24 minutes (below 24 years of age)
- 1.5km swimming not more than 25 minutes (in swimming pool)
- 6.4km sea swimming with full mission load-in under 120 minutes
- Day/Night sky diving at peak spot ie. hills, building and ocean surface.
- Free style swimming for 1.5km under 31 minutes
- Surviving in water with hands and feet tighten (drown-proofing)
- Diving without breathing apparatus for minimal 7m in depth
- Basic Recruitment Course
2] Basic PASKAL commando
3] Diving endurance
4] Basic Sky-Diving
- Carrier Development Course
i) First Class enrollment
ii) Underwater Combat Maneuver
iii) “Laskar Kanan” enrollment
iv) “Bintara Muda” enrollment
v) Diving/Underwater Combat Superior
PASKAL routinely trains with the SAS/UK, NGSLO, SEAL, EOD (USA), Submarine Escape (Australia), Assault Swimmer and Australia, Clearance Diver (Australia/USA), Sniper Supervisor (Australia), Mountain Climbing (France), SASR Australia, etc. On 26 August 1991, the National Security Council declared PASKAL as the main counter-terrorist task force for the defense of oil rigs and oil tanker/ship and to act as one of the elements in the Pasukan Aturgerak Cepat (PAC) or “Rapid Deployment Force (RDF)”.
- Survival Night/Mission Test
- Combat Tracking
- Urban Terrain (FIBUA)
- Unconventional Warfare
- Minor Combat Equipment Handling
- Section Leader
- Platoon Sergeant
- Chief of Company
- Medical War Fare
- Tae Kwon Do (Martial Arts)
- Close Quarters Combat
- Medical apprentice
- Basic Free-Fall Diving
- Abseiling and Air Rescue Operations
- Cliff Hanger
- Small Patrol Movement
- Explosive Ordinance Disposal
- Chief of Diving
- Small Vehicle Operator
- Small Water base trans Operator
- Sky Diving Coach
- Sniper Coach
- Cliff Hanger Coach
- Intel Sergeant
- Team Intel Officer
- Foreign Language
Paskal is strongly influenced by the tactics and organization of British Special Boat Service (SBS). Paskal usually trains with GGK as well as US Navy SEALs, Indonesian Navy’s KOPASKA and, of course – SBS.
Weaponry and Equipment
Weapon selection and use is a confidential issue. Nevertheless, with rumors of financing from a consortium of 30+ oil companies with offshore assets in Malaysian waters, Paskal’s inventory includes some of the most advanced and sophisticated equipment in the Armed Forces. Today, PASKAL is equipped with modern weaponry and gadgets, such as night vision, subskimmer (DPV), laser-guided assault rifle. There’s the wide array the weapons of PASKAL.
- Sidearms: Browning HP, Glock 17, Sig Sauer P226.
- Shotguns: Franchi SPAS-12, Mossberg 500, Remington 870, Remington 1100.
- Submachineguns: FN P90, HK MP5(many diff. variants).
- Assault Rifles: AK 101, Colt M4A1, Colt M16A1, HK G36C, Steyr AUG.
- Sniper Rifles: Accuracy International AWM sniper rifle, HK G3 SG-1, HK MSG-90, HK PSG-1.
- Machineguns: FN Minimi.
PASKAL is widely considered to be the best trained, equipped and supported unit in the Malaysian Armed Forces.
One of Paskal’s roles is to launch offensive operations independently via sea, land and air in enemy controlled waters. Paskal were trained to conduct maritime operations such as anti-pirating, anti-ship / oil rigs hijacking. The security of 30+ oil rigs in Malaysian waters are under the control and responsibility of Paskal. Until now, Paskal had been able to conduct training in almost all of those oil rigs.
The Paskal’s missions also consist of beachhead / deep penetrations reconnaissance, demolition and sabotage, but their skills and activity extend beyond that. Paskal can be deploy in securing landing sites for Army’s amphibious attacks, attacking top priority ships in enemy harbors, special ship boarding operations, Counter-Terrorist missions (CT), countermine operations and join-operation with other Army Task Force such as entering hi-peak from a free fall sky-diving.
Paskal’s personnel were also located in man-made offshore stations particularly in Layang-Layang atoll as well as in several RMN’s ships. Like other Special Forces units, Paskal requires special type of weapons and equipments such as sub machineguns and ammunition that is specifically designed for underwater combat. Another equipment that has been used by Paskal is a sub skimmer which is one of the UDV – Underwater Delivery Vehicle, a high-speed inflatable / collapsible craft that can be converted into to a small ‘submarine’. Its crew usually use close-circuit breathing apparatus while remaining in underwater. Subskimmer is the best way to move around without being detected. Besides above, PASKAL also been given specific mission that requires their expertise in the interest of national security.
Special Highlights on PASKAL
- PASKAL Special Force was on air by TV3’s Majalah 3 on 30 August 2003 inconjuction with Merdeka Day. The 1 hour popular series also featured Gerak Khas (Armed Forces) and PASKAU (Air Force Special Unit).
> 1 Oct 2002 opening of RMN’s RM5 million Special Forces (Pascal) headquarters.
> 26 August 1991, National Security Council declared NAVY PASKAL is the main task force team to neutralize terrorist attempt against oil rigs and oil tanker/ship and to act as one of the element in Pasukan Aturgerak Cepat (PAC) or “Immediate Response Team” which is a military operations team at sea and land.
> Leftenan Komander (Kehormat), Ahmad Ramli Kardi – PASKAL senior personnel is one of the free-fall diving team for Malaysian North Pole free fall diving in 1998.
- Leftenan Komander Anuar, a PASKAL hero at UN mission in Angola (UNIVEM II) 1998 received “Pingat Gagah Berani”