HAILED as one of the Royal Malaysian Police’s elite squads, the VAT 69 commando unit celebrated its 48th anniversary with a whole lot of oomph and explosive action.
The shooting range of the Northern Brigade general operations force training base in Ulu Kinta was transformed into a warzone – packed with gunshots, deft fighting and shooting moves, as well as a 1,200m-high paragliding demonstration.
As the ceremony began, unit personnel - standing stoically in the blazing heat of the 10am sun - soon broke into different formations to perform moves of self-defence.
They kept the audience riveted as they brandished guns, wooden boards and knives while performing backbreaking moves to outsmart and eventually, “take out” their opponents.
A tactical shooting demonstration involving two teams working together to shoot their target stands in the range, ensued.
With just one hit from each personnel, their target stands were down. This was despite several of them having to shoot while bending backwards or downwards in between their legs.
A loud explosion sound was then heard, signifying that the teams had successfully completed their demonstrations.
Teamwork and trust were two important qualities for every personnel, and the audience witnessed this impressive display of the elite squad during the agility shooting session, when they had to shoot balloons held by their comrades.
Their comrades would move the balloons around or hold the balloons in between two people with their foreheads.
These were not obstacles at all for the commando unit as the bal loons were swiftly shot.
In his speech, VAT 69 commander Datuk Fisol Salleh congratulated all unit personnel of the impressive demonstration, adding that he was proud of their strength and high spirit.
“Back when this unit was formed, there were 1,600 young fighters who answered the call of their country to stand up against communists.
“Today, although we are no longer faced with such a threat, the challenges have evolved in the form of terrorism and piracy, one that we must take seriously as the danger and violence know no boundaries,” he said during the opening ceremony of the anniversary celebration on Monday.
However, Fisol also said the unit had evolved as well, from a team focusing on counter-insurgency warfare, into one that is mature and multiskilled today.
He urged the personnel to be aware of any form of changes in today’s modern society.
“While some of these changes are technological advancements, focus must also be given to modern war tactics and doctrines.
“This is so that we can adapt to these changes and detect potential threats, while working out effective solutions and strategies to counter them,” he said.
Fisol pointed out the Royal Malaysian Police’s commitment towards VAT 69’s development projects, such as 4x4 special forces multispectrum vehicles, tactical assault vans, and the latest head-to-toe counter terrorist equipment, among many other assets.
“Obtaining the newest weaponry, such as the assault rifle colt APC and rocket propelled grenades, is essential to us as this would allow us to take a big leap forward in our ongoing struggles.
“This would also surely aid us in modernising the police force, steering us towards the direction of a ‘world-class police’,” he said.
Present to open the ceremony was Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order Department director Comm Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah.
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