‘Hostage takers’ on plane nabbed


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 21 Nov 2019

Don’t move: Members of the Special Action Unit securing the plane during the simulation at the Malaysia Airlines Complex in Sepang.

SEPANG: Using the shadow of a Boeing 737-800 as their cover, members of the Special Action Unit (UTK) in stealth mode carry ladders and make their way beneath the aircraft as they prepare to deal with a “hostage situation”.

With ladders propped up, they deftly open the aircraft’s doors and swiftly handle the “situation” inside.

Their “mission” was a success as they arrested several “hostage takers” and ordered them to lie face down on the tarmac.

With the “criminals” held, other members of the elite team noted down procedures as their superiors explained the logic behind each step taken.

Such exercises are crucial to ensure security is at its highest level as Malaysia prepares to receive foreign delegates and leaders for the Kuala Lumpur Summit from Dec 19 to 21.

“We need to be ready to handle them with ease, ” said UTK commander Senior Asst Comm Mohd Khairi Khairuddin.

In the pre-dawn exercise on Monday at the Malaysia Airlines Complex, 180 UTK members spent about three hours familiarising themselves with the aircraft and procedures to professionally manage life-threatening situations.

Armed and dressed in protective gear, the personnel took every opportunity to get to know the build and layout of a Boeing 737 as they practised their moves.

“During the exercise, we teach new operatives the techniques and tactics used to handle such situations while experienced personnel can also take this opportunity to sharpen their skills and perhaps gain new ones, ” said SAC Mohd Khairi.

He also thanked Malaysia Airlines for allowing the team to practise their strategies on one of its aircraft.

It is learnt that a similar exercise had been conducted in the past to handle such situations on larger aircraft and even in buildings and other modes of public transport in the inner city.

“We are trained to manage these stressful situations in buildings, trains and even buses, and nip them in the bud. This is part of our duty, ” he said.

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