KOTA KINABALU: The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) needs its own aircraft to strengthen air patrols, especially within the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSzone).
Esscom Air Operations chief of staff Brig Gen Ayub Khan Mohd Khan said having air assets was vital to ensure monitoring by air could be carried out more effectively to curb cross-border crimes in hot spots and routes used as staging points by cross-border criminals.
He said the command centre which has been operating for seven years should own at least one air asset to ease operations.
He said this in a statement on Thursday (Aug 6) after a coordination meeting in Tawau with all aviation-related agencies and authorities within Esszone.
“Besides a show of presence, Esscom (with its own aircraft) can plan movements effectively to trace and curb any outside attempts to breach the peace and security in eastern Sabah.
“We are confident that through aggressive patrolling by the Esscom air unit in cooperation with relevant enforcement authorities, such as marine police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the Armed Forces, cross-border criminals can be intercepted, ” said Ayub Khan.
He said at present, Esscom depended on air assets from the Air Force, the army’s air operation team and the police air operation team.
“If there is a need for special operations including emergencies which need immediate action, it is very hard for Esscom to move fast because we do not have the authority to order the assets for these purposes, ” he added.
Meanwhile on the meeting, he said it was to obtain the latest data on air operations and to coordinate each of their services within the Esszone.
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