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Friday October 26, 2007

VAT 69 gets RM2m shoot house


THE Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) West of the Uni-ted States has spent over RM2mil to build the first state-of-the-art shoot house for Malaysia’s VAT 69 Commando battalion. 

JIATF West Rear Admiral Paul Zu-kunft said recently the shoot house was the unit’s first sponsorship in any of its partner nations in Asia and the Pacific. 

“We chose the Malaysian VAT (Very Able Troop) 69 Commando be-cause it is by far the most advanced organisation in any of our partner nations. 

“It is a stand-alone law enforcement operation in Malaysia and an elite organisation that will be able to fully utilise this sort of technology,” he said after attending the opening ceremony of the shoot house at the 69 Commando Special Operations Force headquarters in Ipoh. 

The shoot house, also known as a close quarter battle building, will be used by the commandos, marine po-lice and the police narcotics unit for close-range battle training. 

On target:(From right)Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum,Mustafa and Shear taking part in a shooting contest during the opening ceremony.
Royal Malaysian Police Internal Security and Public Order director Comm Datuk Mustafa Abdullah, who was also present, said such training was needed in situations that required the officers to come in close range to both victims and cri-minals. 

To facilitate this, the shoot house comprises a maze of dark, narrow corridors, stairwells and several rooms, each wired for sound and installed with closed-circuit cameras that are linked to a control centre outside the building. 

The walls, floors and ceiling of the entire shoot house are made of hard steel and covered with a rubber-based protection material that helps absorb the bullets fired during training. 

Comm Mustafa said that JIATF West was currently also spending RM940,000 to upgrade the Penang Federal Reserve Unit base’s shooting range. 

“We hope it will be ready by February next year,” he said. 

Comm Mustafa added that he hoped the JIATF West would also fund the construction of another shoot house for the marine police. 

“If the marine police have a shoot house of their own, they need not use this one for their training,” he said. 

He added that the building would be located at the marine police’s southern regional base and training centre to be built soon at Tanjung Pelepas in Johor. 

On a separate note, US Embassy deputy chief of mission David Shear said earlier that the US would like to further assist the Malaysian police through training and exercises for the purpose of combating transnational crime, especially the international narcotics trade.  

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