Royal Malaysian Air Force PASKAU

Royal Malaysian Air Force PASKAU

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=Pasukan Khas Udara

caption= Official PASKAU logo
dates=1 April 1980 - known as HANDAU
1 June 1993 - PASKAU
branch=Royal Malaysian Air Force
command_structure=Malaysian Armed Forces
type=Air Force Special Operations
role=Air Base Defense and Air Force Special Operations
size=Three regiments
garrison=RMAF Airbase Camp, Bukit Jugra, Banting, Selangor
colonel_of_the_regiment= Colonel Haji Zaharin Haji Ahmad
motto= "Cepat, Senyap, Pasti" (English: Fast, Silence, and Sure
colors=Sky Blue Coloured (Beret)
identification_symbol_label= PASKAU Trimedia Badge
battles=Genting Sempah Incidents,
Bukit Galla incident,
Hawk 208 crash,
Bukit Batu Tiban incident,
Brinchang incident,
Piper 28 crash,
PASKAU Boat Capsizing incident
Gunung Gerah incident
battles_labels=Missions / Incidents
PASKAU - (formerly the Malaysian abbreviation of Pasukan Khas Udara, "Special Operations Team of RMAF"), is an elite force within Royal Malaysian Air Force. The main responsibility of PASKAU is to conduct combat search - rescue mission (CSAR) and recovery of downed pilots. Other than that, PASKAU is also fully counter-terrorism qualified assault unit. PASKAU have a Hostage Rescue Team team trained to counter hostage situation, and PASKAU can be deployed behind enemy line to assist in target designation for TUDM strikes missions.


PASKAU was created in the 1970s after a covert attack by Malayan Communist Party agents using high-explosive mortars from the outside an RMAF airbase, resulting in the destruction of one DHC-4 Carribou transport aircraft.

From this incident, a specific doctrine from the RMAF has led to the formation of an elite force for the security of RMAF airbases which were previously under Royal Military Police Corps responsibility. Then this inaugural, on 1 April 1980, an elite forces which is known as Pasukan Pertahanan Darat dan Udara "(English:Air and Land Defense Force)" or abbreviation as HANDAU were established. Not only did they received conscription training from elite Royal Malaysian Police Pasukan Gerakan Khas "(which consists of VAT 69 and UTK)" anti-teror police force, they even received special training from British Special Air Service and U.S. special forces.

Squadron 102 HANDAU establishment is the first squadron to take over the Kuala Lumpur RMAF Airbase security duties from Royal Military Police Corps, which followed up the RMAF Regiment Base Security on 1 April 1981 until the establishment of 10 more HANDAU squadrons on 1 March 1993.

With the restructuring of the RMAF, in accordance to the modernisation of the royal airforce, on 1 June 1993, the name HANDAU was changed to Pasukan Khas Udara (abbreviated as PASKAU). The role of the regiment has since expanded from their original task of protecting RMAF airbases to a wide variety of missions including counter-terrorism, unconventional warfare and search and rescue missions.


The RMAF ground force is known as RMAF Regiment operates directly under Air Operation HQ. Based in Bukit Jugra AFB, Banting, its a special operation force under RMAF and better known as PASKAU. Pasukan Khas Udara or PASKAU role is to work behind enemy line in support of ground attack, rescue downed pilot behind enemy line, provide force protection and so on. Below are the 3 main squadrons of PASKAU under the Operation Branch of the Regiment responsible for special operations.

- bgcolor=#87CEFA

PASKAU branches, responsible and roles! style="text-align: center; background: #87CEFA;"|Branch! style="text-align: center; background: #87CEFA;"|Responsible! style="text-align: center; background: #87CEFA;"|Roles
Combat Wing Squadron
Counter-terrorist force
Combat Wing Squadron or "Skuadron Sayap Tempur - SST" is the combat arm of PASKAU. Conducted in counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, infiltration and sabotage, it works behind enemy line to disable or destroy high value target to ensure success of RMAF air operation. It has Ground Laser Target Designation (GLTD) team to provide forward target acquisition and tracking for attacking planes. There is also a Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) that specializes in aircraft hostage rescue operation. Every mission involves a six-man team with different specialties such as a riflemen, sniper, demolitions expert, communications expert and medics. These personnel will be equipped with light weapons, such as the M4 Carbine from Bushmaster and Colt products, M16A1 assault rifle and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) as a light support weapon. For Close Quarter Battle (CQB) operations like hostage rescue or counter-terrorism, the primary weapon is the MP5K, MP5SD and M4 carbine equipped with EOTech Holo sights (hologram sights that maximizes the target view).
Combat Air Rescue Squadron
Combat Search and Rescue
Combat Air Rescue Squadron or "Skuadron Penyelamat Tempur Udara - SPTU" is capable of mounting rescue operation for pilots down behind enemy line. It consist of 6 CAR detachments operating from air bases with Rescue Sub-Centre (RSC) such as Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan, Butterworth, Gong Kedak, Kuching and Labuan AFB. CAR is also capable of sea rescue through its Maritime Para Rescue Team (MPRT) based in Bukit Jugra.
Field Protection Squadron
Base Protections
Field Protection Squadron or "Skuadron Kawalan Medan - SKM" provides special protection to high value targets such as air defense radar and forward operation bases. High value targets protection not just involves installation but also involves close or special escorts duty. What is unique with this team is they are equipped with Field Intrusion Detection System (FIDS) for zone protection. During insertion operation into enemy territory, they would be the pathfinder and able to act as Ground Forward Air Controller (GFAC).


Every officers and men's of RMAF will given a light blue beret when they completed the PASKAU basic course and commando dagger after managed the PASKAU expertise course. They will managed the advanced training continuously for detailed an each expertise for qualified to joinned the all operations. The PASKAU personals were compulsoried to managed the efficiency and activeness test in every 12 weeks for assess the personal's capabilities.

Among others, the test consists of:
# 160 kilometre durable walking test
# Australian rapelling (sloping down the hill and building with the rope in running style)
# Spie-rig techniques (the body tied with the rope which pulled up with the helicopter)
# 160 km propelled a boat (a swampy level)
# Jungle commando basic course
# Special reconnaissance infiltrations course
# Sniping course from water with the boat.

PASKAU operatives is capable of conducting:-

;Warfare Techniques
# Laser-designation - Using GLTD II (Ground Laser Target Designator) units to 'paint' hostile targets, marking them for attack by air-dropped laser-guided munitions such as the Paveway II LGB (laser-guided bomb).
# Counter-terrorism
# Unconventional Warfare
# Close Quarters Battle (CQB) or Close Quarters Combat (CQC)
# Marksmanship or sharpshooters, etc.
# Sabotage
# Sniper

;Insertion Technique
# Helo casting
# Hover jump

;Intelligence Gathering
# Intelligence
# Reconnaissance
# Providing base security to RMAF installations.

;Expertise Oriented
# Combat Search and Rescue - Recovery of friendly units (especially ejected pilots) from behind enemy lines
# Hostage Rescue
# Urban Terrain (FIBUA)
# Operation In Built-up Area - OBUA
# Special demolitions
# Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD).

PASKAU is highly capable in performing hostage rescue operations in any situation and is regarded the principal anti-hijack response for civil and military aircraft. This task was taken over from Grup Gerak Khas (Army SOF unit). PASKAU troopers are recognized by their light blue-colored berets. The unit were also sent for special training and technical basic course by 22nd British SAS and US special forces. In October, 2007, only 20 from 54 trainees completed the three-month training programme that started at the end of June. [" [ 54 sign up for training but only 20 make it] The Star, October 4, 2007"]


Established with the first name as "Pertahanan Darat Udara" or HANDAU (meaning:Air and Land Defense Force) were tasked to secure all of RMAF airbases. In the year 1996, the unit is composed of more personnel and changed the name to Pasukan Khas Udara or PASKAU, nowadays the role of the unit are extended to combat and combat support. The role of this unit is very different from army special forces, such as Grup Gerak Khas or navy special forces PASKAL, especially from main role the forces which differs and they operate by experience team and owns specific equipments for special operation needs.

The establishment of PASKAU is an approach for increased RMAF capability in special air operations. And also to complete the requirements of Combat Search Air Rescue operations (CSAR), secure the RMAF bases which operates in forward base and assist the aircraft fighters for execution of an airstrike to enemy targets, using the special weapons. And able to neutralize the enemy's important assets. PASKAU consists of specially chosen RMAF regiment personnel, following the special warfare course to enable managing the role of search and rescue and provide forward target acquisition with designator and Target Laser Infrared Designator.

Light firearms

"1The US-made M4 Carbine service rifle will replace the Austrian-made Steyr AUG service rifle for all three Malaysian Armed Forces services including PASKAU operatives."


PASKAU function were good execute for other operations. Because, it is a very important assets for RMAF which easier obey the orders, security and coordinations directly. Force's tasked using an aircraft can be fast and impressive deployment in the short time. PASKAU operations were managed in the peaceful country, emergencies or during the battles. The operations for PASKAU personals were including: ;Marked the targets:RMAF's duties in the functions of defense the sovereignty country which involved the aircraft fighter for perpetuate the dominations airface from all intrusions from outside element or uncapability the enemy air forces in another operations in the air. Besides the able to protected the air defensed assets, which probably to involved the aircraft fighter in operations in the country airface or far infiltrate in the enemy area. This unit will perform a duty with their infiltrate to operation area in behind the enemy line for destroyed the enemy assets and the air defense amenities and also capable to infiltrate and experience in another infiltrate techniques and able for sabotage with manner own to other enemy air defenses, such as radar sites and the enemy Surface to Air Missile sites (SAMsites).

;Security the RMAF Important Assets :The unit are capability to deal with another threats from regular team or enemy elite team in circumstance whereby RMAF operated the Forward Operation Base (FOB) or the base which operated in the hostile environment area. The task of this elite force is success the execute the operation with efficient and fast although confront with the threats which will be happened.

;Search and rescue:The responsible task by PASKAU is are search and rescue the military unit whether on the land or the waters. In the anymore duties which involved the air operations, the RMAF aircraft make sure to bared to dangerous probably to accidents, aircrash or shootdown by enemy whether in own country or the enemy country. The infiltrations for rescue mission is a not very easily if be happen in the area which have the steep and dangerous ravine, for example during the incident which involved the Nuri helicopter is crashed in Gunung Gerah or nowadays the incident in Genting Sempah forest whereby this unit were landing with abseiling technic from the helicopter to higher tree and from the tree to event location. And also the incident which involved in the water area, where the elite air forces falling with free fall (HALO/HAHO) or parachute, equipped with diving equipment dan sea rescue equipment. The rescue missions can be progress impressively and efficient by the experience rescue operators and also a broad knowledges about airplane features for rescue operations. If the circumstance whereby the accident aircraft casualty which be trapped and the equipment or asset and very important documents which need a specialist expert for execute the missions. PASKAU have the ability to execute the diving duties in underwater for rescue the casualty which consist of the pilots which probably twisted by parachuted equipment or aircraft seatbelt during existed in the middle sea, especially the accident Caribou transport airplane in Labuan sea.

;Counter Terrorism duties:If the happened about any incident which involved the hijacked the aircraft and airbase from RMAF or civil by the enemy or outside elemen, for example terrorist, PASKAU is only a one teams to deployed first to forward for confronted the incident. For a knowledge, PASKAU is a very professional in aircraft hijacker scenario by terrorist and comprehend about aircraft locality especially the competent infiltrate techniques without the negative effected to aircraft and passengers.


PASKAU's key capabilities includes:

;Mobility:PASKAU is able to be rapidly inserted into an operations zone through land, air and sea-based delivery.

;Flexibility:The group is capable of being deployed independently or as part of a joint task force with other special operations groups.

;Sustainability:The group is able to operate as an independent unit and conduct special operations for sustained periods without external assistance.

;Technology:The group has access to high-tech equipment and weaponry to improve its ability to execute complex and demanding special operations for the RMAF.

;Special training :The group is equipped with specialized physical training that exceeds that of conventional forces. This is to ensure that operators are well-prepared to execute highly demanding SOF-type missions. They are especially suited for classified missions involving small-groups.

Mission and the future scheme

The future direction for PASKAU includes the continuous expansion of the team's expertise and roles as well as enhancing the team's effectiveness with newer and more capable equipment.

Recent Operations

;Genting Sempah Incident:In July 2007, PASKAU, with the 10 Paratrooper Brigades, 22nd Grup Gerak Khas and Pasukan Gerakan Khas anti-teror police, supported by the United States Navy, police General Operations Force Senoi Praaq, Police Air Wing, Fire and Rescue Department, Forestry Department rangers, Civil Defense Department (JPA3) and villagers were deployed in a search and rescue operation after a Sikorsy S61 Nuri helicopter of the RMAF went down along with a crew of six near Genting Sempah, Genting Highlands. The SAR team located the wreckage of the chopper on July 17, 1324hrs with its rotor blades detached. The bodies of all crew members were found in the cabin of the stricken aircraft. [" [ Villagers help in ground search] The Star, July 16, 2007"]

;MALCON-UNIFIL 2007:PASKAU was part of a contingent which also included the 10 Paratrooper Brigade, Grup Gerak Khas and PASKAL which was deployed to Lebanon [" [ Malaysia wants longer peacekeeping tenure] The Star, April 18, 2007"] .

;Bukit Galla Incident:In February 20, 1999, PASKAU with RMP General Operations Forces, State Forestry Department, Civil Defense Department (JPA 3), Department of Civil Aviation and the Negeri Sembilan Fire and Rescue Department were involved in search and rescue operations after a civilian Beachcraft BE-36 aircraft crashed into the slopes of Bukit Galla, Mantin, Negeri Sembilan. Both pilot and passenger of the aircraft; Patrick Dutrey and Natalie Marie Chappate were killed in the accident [" [ Mayat juruterbang pesawat terhempas berjaya dikeluarkan (Malay)] Utusan Malaysia, February 21, 1999"] .

;Hawk 208 Crash:In June 27, 2006, PASKAU was involved in the search for Major Muhammad Rohaizan Abdul Rahman after his Hawk 208 fighter crashed into the sea off Rompin, Pahang in May 31 2006. The remains of the pilot was found 28 days later on the seabed, 150 meters off the coast of Pantai Lanjut, Rompin, Pahang [" [ Mayat juruterbang Hawk 208 ditemui di dasar laut (Malay)] Utusan Malaysia, June 28, 2006"] .

;Bukit Batu Tiban Incident:In July 28, 2005, PASKAU was involved in rescue operations after a Hornbill Skyway Bell 206 Jet Ranger helicopter crashed in Bukit Batu Tiban, Ulu Baleh, Kapit, near the Sarawak-West Kalimantan border. One passenger survived the crash while another three, including the pilot, were found dead [" [ Satu mangsa dikesan selamat -- Laungan minta tolong 3 lagi penumpang nahas helikopter turut didengar (Malay)] Utusan Malaysia, July 29, 2005"] .

;Brinchang Incident:In 7 June, 2005, 21 PASKAU and 35 VAT 69 Pasukan Gerakan Khas operators were involved in the search for 4 chilren who were reported to be lost at Fraser's Hill as well as another 2 persons who were lost at Gunung Brinchang in Cameron Highlands. Three days later, all lost persons were found [" [ 2 lagi hilang di Brinchang, 4 belum ditemui di Bukit Fraser (Malay)] Utusan Malaysia, June 09, 2005"] .

;Piper 28 Crash:In March 14, 2004, PASKAU, together with the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and 10th Paratrooper Brigade of the Malaysian Army, were involved in the search and rescue of the occupants of a civilian Piper 28 aircraft which crashed. The aircraft went down in a heavily forested area about 3.2 kilometers south-west of Langat Dam, Selangor. The pilot, Captain Nasir Ma Lee was killed in the accident while passenger Nazarullah Mohd. Sultan was found alive [" [ Mangsa nahas Piper minum air jeram tanpa makanan tiga hari (Malay)] Utusan Malaysia, March 18, 2004"] .

;PASKAU Boat Capsizing Incident:In January 19, 2003, a fibreglass boat carrying two officers and four servicemen from PASKAU capsized after encountering large waves in stormy conditions. This occurred during reconnaissance operations in the vicinity of Sibu Island, Johore at around 10:30am. RMAF Major Aundrey Smith, Damian Sebastian, Sergeant Radzi Abdul Majid and Sergeant Saad Che Omar were safely recovered while Corporal Hasnul Abdul Rahman and Corporal Ayub Sidek perished in the incident [" [ Dua mayat komando TUDM ditemui, satu selamat (Malay)] Utusan Malaysia, January 22, 2003"] .

;Gunung Gerah incident:In November 14, 1989, PASKAU was involved in rescue operations after a TUDM Sikorsky S61 Nuri helicopter went down on the slopes of Gunung Gerah and Gunung Bilah near the Kelantan-Perak border. The 21 passengers of the chopper were killed including 15 policemen from the General Operations Force of the Royal Malaysian Police.

In fiction

In 1986, the movie Wira Angkasa "(Heroes of the Sky)" staring Dato' Yusof Haslam and Sabree Fadzil depicted PASKAU operators in a CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) mission to recover Lieutenant Iskandar, a downed pilot from behind enemy lines.

In the movie Entrapment (1999), starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones, Tactical Assault Squadrons from PASKAU together with RMP Pasukan Gerakan Khas pursued the 2 stars in and around Petronas Twin Towers. PASKAU operators in the RMAF helicopter were cover the police counter terrorist force during pursued in the end of the scene.

ee also

* VAT 69/UTK Royal Malaysian Police

imilar Air Special Force Units Outside Malaysia

* "flagicon|United States Air Force Special Tactics, United States"
* "flagicon|Argentina Argentina Special Operations Group, Argentina"
* "flagicon|Portugal Combat Search and Rescue Unit, Portugal"
* "flagicon|Indonesia Detasemen Bravo, Indonesia"
* "flagicon|India Garud Commando Force, India"
* "flagicon|Pakistan Special Service Wing, Pakistan"
* "flagicon|Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Air Force Regiment Special Force, Sri Lanka"


External links

* [ Malaysian Armed Forces website]
* [ Malaysian SOF]
* [ PASKAU website]

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