SHAH ALAM: The Army is transferring Gempita 8X8 armoured vehicles from 1 KAD – based in Kuantan, Pahang, to 4 KAD which is based in Kuching, Sarawak. The hand-over ceremony for the vehicles was conducted on August 16 in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan, the Armour Directorate said on its social media page.
The vehicles will be shipped to Kuching in two batches starting from next month. The release below did not mention how many Gempita will be transferred to 4 KAD but an earlier one by the directorate stated that it will involve 26 vehicles. It is likely that 1 KAD will still have around 30 Gempita to meet its operational and training commitments.
1 KAD’s parent unit, 4th Mechanised Brigade, will not be affected by the transfer, as there are other mechanised units in the brigade. This include the 19th RAMD which is also equipped with Gempita. 19th RAMD was the first unit to be equipped with Gempita followed by 1 KAD. 4 KAD is under 1 Divisyen which comes under Army Eastern Field Command.
With the addition of 4 KAD, six units will be operating the Gempita. The current ones are 19 RAMD, 1 KAD, 2 KAD and 5 KAD though the numbers operated by each of the units is unknown.
Another unit which is operating Gempita is 12 Skn RAJD – the Armoured Engineer CBRNe unit based at the Terendak camp. 12 SKN is likely to be operating four CBRN variants of the Gempita with a single Gempita recovery vehicle or Scania wrecker for recovery operations.
The release on the transfer:
ACARA PERBARISAN SERAH TERIMA KENDERAAN PERISAI 8X8 GEMPITA
PORT DICKSON, 16 OGOS 2023: Pengarah Kor Armor Diraja, Brigedier Jeneral Mohd Fazly bin Mat Said telah menyaksikan acara Perbarisan Serah Terima Kenderaan Perisai (KP) 8X8 GEMPITA di antara Rejimen Pertama Kor Armor Diraja (1 KAD) dan Rejimen Ke-4 Kor Armor Diraja (4 KAD) di Padang Kawad Rejimen Kedua Kor Armor Diraja (2 KAD), Kem Sunggala, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan.
Acara Penyerahan Replika KP 8X8 GEMPITA turut diadakan di antara Pegawai Memerintah 1 KAD, Leftenan Kolonel Zainal Azli bin Ismail dan Pegawai Memerintah 4 KAD, Leftenan Kolonel Ts. Dr. Wong Wai Loong.
Perbarisan yang diketuai oleh Mejar Izzudin bin Dato’ Abidin merupakan acara simbolik untuk lakaran sejarah apabila Tentera Darat telah bersetuju untuk membuat pemindahan KP 8X8 GEMPITA daripada 1 KAD kepada 4 KAD bagi menampung keperluan operasi, latihan dan kompitensi krew 4 KAD, 1 Divisyen dan Markas Pemerintahan Medan Timur Tentera Darat.
Perpindahan akan dilaksanakan dalam 2 peringkat menggunakan perkhidmatan kapal Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (TLDM) iaitu KD MAHAWANGSA mulai bulan September dan dijangka selesai pada pertengahan bulan Oktober 2023.
Turut hadir, Pegawai Memerintah 2 KAD, Leftenan Kolonel Maslan bin Ukkas, wakil Pegawai Staf Jabatan Arah Armor, wakil Markas Pemerintahan Medan Barat Tentera Darat dan wakil Markas Tentera Darat – Cawangan OPLAT.
It is likely that the Gempita operated by 5 KAD – pictured above on March 2020 – were the ones that was operated by 19 RAMD when they rotated to the ESSCOM AOR in 2018/2019. It is unclear whether the Gempita are still there though. 5 KAD remained an ad hoc unit as the commanding officer is still a major unlike other armoured regiments who are headed by a Lt Colonel (as can be ascertained by the release above).
The transfer of Gempita to 4 KAD meant that the only armoured regiment without Kenderaan Jenis A is 3 KAD. The unit retired their Condors at the same time as 4 KAD early this year though without much fanfare.
However, the need for new armoured vehicles for 3 KAD is not as acute as 4 KAD as the former’s camp is adjacent to that off the 19 RAMD in Sungai Petani, Kedah. That said the soldiers of 3 KAD may have other thoughts about this.
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