Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Komando Pasukan Katak (Kopaska) TNI-AL
Navy Underwater Special Forces Command

Navy Underwater Special Forces Command or Kopaska is one-way ticket command. In the meaning that this “frogmen” must succeed to do their mission no matter what it’s cost including sacrificing their own life. Motto for this special navy forces is Tan Hana Wighna Tan Sirna which meaning, “There is no obstacle that we can’t conquer”
Kopaska was formed on March 31 1962 by President Sukarno to help his campaign in Irian Jaya. In that campaign Kopaska ordered to be human torpedoes similar to Japanese 'kamikaze' troops. In doing so they rode the torpedo, guided it until hit the enemy's ship. The early U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) and modern Navy SEAL Teams heavily influence KOPASKA. This foundation was built when early KOPASKA members were sent to the United States for training with the UDTs. That tradition continues today as each year a few men from the unit travel to Coronado, California and Norfolk, Virginia to participate in SEAL training.
Today, unit strength is approximately 300 men, divided into two groups. One is attached to western fleet, based on Pondok Dayung, Jakarta and the other one is attached to eastern fleet, based on Surabaya, East Java. Their main duty is underwater demolition which consists of raiding enemy's ships and bases, destroying main underwater installations, beach reconnaissance, prisoner snatches, and preparing beaches for larger naval amphibious operations. In peace time the unit deploys seven man teams to serve as security personnel for VIPs. Primary among these duties are the escort and personal security of the Indonesian president and vice president. They are also responsible for limited search-and-rescue duties and have deployed as part of United Nations peace forces.
Kopaska personnel also have brevet from the US Navy Seal that indicating Kopaska having same ability and qualification with that legendary special forces. Every Kopaska personnel must have special airborne qualification known as CRRC (Combat Raiding Rubber Craft). Kopaska weapon files such as SIG Sauer P.226, Sea Raider (sea combat vehicle), AK-47, MP-5, FN Minimi and GPMG.
Recruitment for the unit is held once a year and draws exclusively on navy personnel (not from the marines). The maximum age of recruits are no more than 30 years. The length of recruitment is seven months. Usually from 700-1500 men who signed up only 15-20 men will pass the initial selection. After the selection the men who pass will undergo four-phase continual training. The first phase of this is one week of physical training (Hell Week), the second phase is basic underwater training, the third phase is commando training, and the fourth phase is parachute training. In the end from 15-20 men, usually only five or six make it and become Kopaska.

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