Ijab dan Kabul

Monday, 24 January 2011

A great test of our navy's ability

A great test of our navy's ability

Navy Fleet Operations Commander
Vice-Admiral Datuk Seri Ahmad
Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin
played an instrumental role in the
rescue of the crew members
Navy Fleet Operations Commander Vice-Admiral Datuk Seri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin played an instrumental role in the rescue of the crew members
KUALA LUMPUR: Vice-Admiral Datuk Seri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin was the man of the hour: upon him laid the responsibility for the freeing of the MT Bunga Laurel crew from the clutches of Somali pirates.
The Operation Fajar task force commander said he was alerted to the hijacking of the vessel in the Gulf of Aden at 12.15am on Friday (8.15pm Thursday, Gulf time).

"I immediately sought authorisation from the navy chief and then directed Lt-Cdr Mohd Maznan Mohd Said (the Bunga Mas 5 task group commander), to proceed with the rescue operation. I was told Bunga Mas 5 had just completed its escort mission and was 14 nautical miles away from Bunga Laurel," he said.

MV Bunga Mas 5 is a naval auxiliary ship which provides protection detail under Operation Fajar. The exercise initially involved the deployment of combat ships to the gulf to escort Malaysian merchant vessels, following the hijacking of Malaysian International Shipping Corporation's ships, Bunga Melati Dua and Bunga Melati 5, in 2008.
The navy had deployed five ships -- KD Lekiu, KD Sri Inderapura, KD Mahawangsa, KD Sri Indera Sakti and KD Hang Tuah in support of that mission.

However, in 2009, the government decided to commission MISC's Bunga Mas 5 as an auxiliary escort ship following refurbishment at the Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Sdn Bhd shipyard in Pasir Gudang, Johor.

The entire battle order episode was performed via satellite teleconferencing and radio communication between Kamarulzaman, the command centre, Maznan, naval special forces commander Lt Noor Asri Roslan and Eurocopter Fennec pilot Lt Jason Solomon John.

"As it was nightfall, hi-tech night vision goggles and other thermal imaging equipment were used in the rescue operation," said Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar.

Kamarulzaman, who is based in Lumut, was at the time in Kuala Lumpur. It is understood he rushed to the MISC emergency response centre at the Dayabumi Complex, which is linked to the Fleet Operations Command (FOC) in Lumut, to supervise rescue operations with the assistance of the shipping company's technical experts.

"The task was undertaken along the lines of the total defence concept. We had to summon all available resources to ensure the success of the operation with minimal damage and risk to the crew of Bunga Mas 5 and Bunga Laurel," said Aziz.

"It was precision teamwork all the way and a great test of our capability in a crisis. I am glad it turned out well," he told the New Sunday Times in reference to Friday's rescue of the 23 Filipino crewmen of Bunga Laurel.

Kamarulzaman said he directed the Fennec helicopter to be launched for a reconnaissance sortie.

"Once the situation report was obtained, two teams of commandos in separate fast boats were despatched to pursue the pirates.

"Simultaneously, the Bunga Laurel captain was told via very high frequency (VHF) radio to disable the ship's engines, switch off all lighting and secure themselves in the citadel, which is a specially designed security compartment near the engine room."

He praised Bunga Laurel's captain and its crew for initiating the emergency alert, providing information on the pirates and taking preventive measures to buy time for the rescue operation.

"The scenario could have been more complicated if the crew were captured by the pirates or if its cargo faced the risk of explosion.

"When reports poured in that the pirates' mother ship was joining the assault on Bunga Laurel, the Fennec was ordered to fire on it using its pod-mounted general-purpose machine gun.

"We are not sure as to the damage to the mother ship or any casualties but we managed to scare them into backing off and leaving seven pirates stranded on the tanker."

Kamarulzaman said as the commandos neared Bunga Laurel, snipers sighted three pirates on the bridge while the other four were believed to have attempted to gain access to the citadel.

"The pirates were ordered to surrender but they instead fired on the commandos. The helicopter and Bunga Mas 5 responded with heavy covering fire, providing cover for the commandos.

"The startled pirates dove for cover, allowing the commandos to covertly board Bunga Laurel swiftly. After the gunfire subsided, high beam torchlights were shone by our rescue team on Bunga Laurel. This is when the three pirates on the bridge raised their hands to signal their surrender.

"Moments later, the commandos overpowered the remaining four pirates. A thorough search was conducted onboard to secure the tanker from threats of explosives or other pirates who may be hiding. The whole operation was over in under two hours."

The other key personnel involved in the rescue operation were Bunga Mas 5 commander Cdr Mohd Nazri Sharif, Lt Syamsuddin Muhamad and medical team chief Capt (Dr) Khairul Afnan Khalid.

The drama began at 11.40pm on Thursday when the pirates, armed with AK-47 assault rifles, light machine guns and pistols, boarded the tanker about 300 nautical miles (555km) east of Oman.

The tanker, hired by MISC, was on its way from the Gulf to Singapore carrying lubricating oil and ethylene dichloride. The tanker and its cargo is worth an estimated RM100 million.
in bold : are my two friends. alhamdulillah mereka berdua selamat dan juga nak kapal yg lain.
*. Alhamdullillah u guys safe and others safe too.

Read more: A great test of our navy's ability http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/3dama-2/Article/#ixzz1BsMrBv3K

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