Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Satuan-81/ Penanggulangan Teror (Sat-81/Gultor)
This unit is most famous for its anti-terror skills. Their first international mission was to release hostages at the Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand in 1981. The Kopassus personnel who took part in this mission had trained for only three days with totally unfamiliar weapons, but brilliantly executed this fast-paced operation. One of the Kopassus personnel, Ahmad Kirang was shot dead by the hijackers. All the hijackers were killed and all the hostages were saved.
To anticipate the increase of airplane hijacking and terrorism act in the future, on June 30, 1982 the new unit, called Detachement-81 (Den-81) Kopassandha, was formally established with Major Luhut B. Panjaitan as its first commander and Captain Prabowo Subianto as its first vice commander. Both of these officers had been sent to Germans GSG-9 (Grenzschutzgruppe-9) school to learn about the anti-terror techniques. Later, Den-81 was changed into Unit-81 Counter-Terror (Sat-81 Gultor). From 1995-2001, Den-81 became the Group 5 counter-terror in the new Kopassus structure.
The most recent successful operation conducted by Sat-81 Gultor is the rescue of 26 hostages from Kelly Kwalik separatist movement in Irian Jaya on May 15, 1996. However, Operation Woyla is still the biggest and internationally well-known operation that Indonesian Army ever experienced.
Unit that under Sat-81 control is 811 battalion (special action) and 812 battalion (combat support). Currently, there is no exact information of the number of troops in Sat-81 Gultor. For much of its history Sat-81 was equipped with the most advanced and complete technology of all the units in the Indonesian armed forces. The rule is that Sat-81 equipment and weapon damaged, was not repaired but instead updated to the new model.