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Kopaska

Kopaska or Komando Pasukan Katak is the premier frogman and underwater demolition unit of the Indonesian Navy. The Unit's motto is "Tan Hana Wighna Tan Sirna" ("There is no obstacle that cannot be defeated"). KOPASKA

History

KOPASKA was heavily influenced by the early U.S. Navy Frogman Underwater Demolition Team (UDTs) and modern Navy SEAL Team.

Early KOPASKA members (Captain-Navy Urip Santoso, Lieutenant-Navy Joko Suyatno, and Sergeant EMP Joseph) trained with the UDTs in the United States. The Indonesian Navy also sent personnel to the Soviet Union to learn from Soviet Navy frogmen and demolition teams. The tradition of overseas training has continued with a few men from the unit travelling each year to Coronado, California and Norfolk, Virginia to participate in SEAL training. Returning to Indonesia, these men then recruit new personnel for KOPASKA.

Recruitment was difficult in the early years of KOPASKA as only few Navy members could pass the qualifications process. Recruitment became even more difficult when President Sukarno announced the Trikora Campaign in Western New Guinea (the Netherlands New Guinea), as KOPASKA were required to conduct beach reconnaissance, beach clearing, prisoner snatches, and human torpedo missions. The latter two missions were the most daring planned by KOPASKA – the first planned to snatch Rear Admiral Reeser, Commander in Chief of the Dutch Armed Forces in the Territory, and the human torpedo was aimed at the Dutch aircraft carrier Karel Doorman. Due to lack of personnel KOPASKA had to borrow 21 troops from the army special forces which at that time still called RPKAD - Army Paracommando Regiment, including Colonel Sarwo Edhie Wibowo, and three from the Greater Jakarta Military Region Command (Kodam Jaya). The plans were canceled when a cease-fire was implemented between Indonesia and the Netherlands.

Of the troops assigned to the Trikora campaign, the three Army troops (Maksum, Alex Sunaryo, and Budi Suroyo) attended Seaman School in the Naval Training Command (Kodikal) and became regular members of KOPASKA. 18 of 21 RPKAD wanted to stay with the Navy, but the Commander of RPKAD (Major General Mung Pahardimulyo) did not approve the transfer. Instead, he accommodated the ex-KOPASKA members by creating a new special unit in Kopassus SAT GULTOR 81-2 Batt.

Until now, Kopaska still trained their specialities to other Indonesian Special Forces units:

1. Army Kopassus counter-terrorist combat divers, now known as Paska GULTOR.

2. Army Strategic Command Reconnaissance Platoon and CT-Team, the Tontaipur.

3. Air Force Satuan Bravo 90 counter-terrorist team.

SAT-81 GULTOR and DENBRAVO-90 continues to send its best members for three months of training in Frogmen School (Sepaskal) at the Special Training Centre (Pusdiksus), Naval Warfare Centre (Pusdikopsla), Naval Training Command (Kodikal) Moro Krembangan in Surabaya, East Java.

Recruitment

The recruitment process to KOPASKA is similar to that of the US Navy SEALs. The criteria are:

  • Be an existing member of the Navy corps except Marine qualified
  • Be younger than 30 years old
  • Served with the Navy for at least 2 years

The recruitment process takes place annually at all Indonesian naval bases, so location is not a concern. Candidates who fulfil the initial criteria are brought to KOPASKA Training Centre to participate in the selection process. Of 300-1500 candidates, only 36 to 20 actually complete the initial selection process. Those who pass the initial selection receive advanced training at KOPASKA training centre. Those who pass training then graduate to become a member of KOPASKA Unit. Only 0-16 people per year graduate to become a full member.

Training

The training process lasts ten months, divided into four continual training phases: physical endurance/physical training, basic underwater training, commando training, and parachute training.

Each phase of training consists of a similar process. For example, the first phase of training is physical or endurance training. Each candidate receives a daily physical training program, e.g.: running, marching, push-ups, sit ups, pull-ups, swimming, etc. The training programs are unscheduled, so the instructor can order physical training at random. The last week of this training each candidate must be able to demonstrate strength through trials such as cross-strait swimming or rowing to Laki Island at night with little food or sleep. This training usually exploits the candidate's physical and psychological strength.

The remaining training phases include combat swimming, infiltration through submarine torpedo tube, long range combat patrol, close quarter battle, infiltration using CRRC or RIB, intelligence course, parachute training (including combat free-fall, static line, HAHO, and HALO), pathfinder,making trap and survival techniques.

Joint Excercise

KOPASKA has several join exercises with the elite forces from other countries.

FLASH IRON with US Navy SEALs.

PANDU EX with RSN NDU

Weaponry and equipment

Since most of KOPASKA duties are in salty and moist environments, most of KOPASKA's weapons and equipment reflect these conditions.

The type of equipment and weapons used by Kopaska are common in Indonesia and world special force societies, including:

KOPASKA use commercial scuba diver equipment. All personnel are also equipped with lightweight PRO-TEC helmets,Level III MICH helmets, and some of them wearing Airframe Helmets by Crye Precision. They use close circuit,semi close circuit and open circuit aqualung equipment, a scooter or sub-skimmer craft for underwater mobility, and an Avon Sea Raider Rigid Inflatable Boat or Hull (By deflating the hull, a Sea Raider can also can be used as a sub-skimmer craft).They also have X38 Combat Boat and Sea Shadow

Notable missions

Trikora campaign

The human

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