I edited the post to fix the Barret rifle name to its correct designation M95.
SHAH ALAM: The Army hold its annual Media Day at the Special Forces Training Centre (PULPAK) at the Sungai Udang Camp in Malacca on Monday and Tuesday (June 24 and 25). I believed this was the first time such a large congregation of media personnel were invited to stay overnight in the centre, the birth place of the Malaysian commandos, Grup Gerak Khas (GGK) or the Special Forces Group.
I guess after allowing History Channel to document the selection of commandos at the centre, it didnt take long for them to get approval to hold the media day there. Due to a dentist appointment I was unable to attend the first day (and stay overnight) at the camp and missed the exciting things like rappelling and shooting at the Kill House. Since I have vertigo, I did not miss the rappelling opportunity but missing the Kill House was a slight bummer.
Anyhow on Tuesday I arrived on time to take part in the shooting competition. The guns for the competition were MP5 sub-machine-guns (10 rounds) and the Vektor semi-automatic pistols (10 rounds). I muffed the MP5 shooting by putting the safety to E and fired a full burst down range into the sea. The Vektor proved much easier to handle though, despite my trigger finger. The result will not be the same if it was a Glock 17 or 19. Not the fault of the gun but me of course.
We didnt shoot any long guns not even the M4 carbines as those required a much bigger range. These guns were on display for the closing ceremony though.
The long guns on display were the Mechem NTW-20 20mm, Barret M95 50 BMG and the Accuracy International AW .308 and AW .308 Suppressed rifles. I have seen the Mechem , M95 and AWs series on display before but the Barret on show was recently issued to the GGK. It has a fluted barrel and fitted with the Barret Optical Ranging System (BORS).
Personally I believed the GGK would be better served with the semi-automatic Barret M107 but it appears that the higher-ups had other thoughts. The M107 is being procured, though, not for the Army but for the PDRM. Hopefully the police M107 will be fitted with BORS.
The AW series on display looked well worn but I am told that their replacements are coming, also from Accuracy International, the AX, also in 308. Again I would prefer they choose the AX .338 but as usual the Army is being conservative.
Apart from the usual green AW rifles, one of the GGK snipers had personalised his rifle by putting camouflage canvas on it. It look very cool although not as good or durable as a firearm coating.
Also on display was a Rapid Intervention Vehicle fitted with an assault ramp and ladder. Last year, the Sultan of Johor – the Colonel in Chief of the GGK – created a stir when he questioned why the Army bought four RIVs for RM500,000 each. The then Defence Minister stated a report had been compiled to determine what had happened but the report had not been made public. GGK officers at the event were very evasive about whether or not the RIV on display – a single cab Ford Ranger (old version) – was the 500K vehicle.
One officer however confirmed that the RIV on display was the 500K vehicle. If the RIV was purchased for 500K something must be very wrong as a cursory inspection showed it had not been modified in any way apart from the mounting for the removable assault ramp and ladder. Its not armoured, not fitted with a radio and the suspension had not been beefed up.
As part of the event, the GGK troopers also put up a show for the media personnel. Check the video below for the show which include a trooper shooting a balloon under the crotch of a colleague!