SHAH ALAM: Army getting more units. The Army is getting more units in Sabah – one infantry brigade, three infantry battalions, three artillery regiments, one armor regiment and one Air Wing squadron. The announcement of the units was made by Defence Minister DS Ismail Sabri during a visit to Sandakan on 11 September. It must be noted that the Army plans for additional units in Sabah have been in the works following the Lahad Datu incident in 2013, culminating with the standing up of 5 Division in September, last year. The division is headquartered at Lok Kawi camp in Kota Kinabalu.
The division now have three Infantry brigades – the 13, 5 and the new 32 based in Kalabakan, Tawau, near the border with Indonesia. The 13 Briged is headquartered in Lahad Datu while the 5 Briged is at Kota Belud. Apart from other support units, the new brigade will also have a new Royal Artillery regiment attached to it. Another artillery regiment in Lahad Datu is likely to be part of the 13 Brigade. The third one will be with 5 Briged.
Other new units involved a new Rejimen Sempadan based in Kalabakan while the new Army Air Wing squadron likely to operate the MD530Gs will be set up in Sandakan with a forward operating base in Semporna
Under the 5 Briged , two new infantry battalions will be set up – the 27th RMR and 11th Rangers – both units were previously deactivated during the Army restructuring in 2000. The two other artillery regiments will be based in Kota Belud and Kudat. It is likely that the 5 Armor which sprung up out of nowhere is the armor unit as it is already headquartered in Kota Belud with a detachment based in Tawau.
The Defence Minister did not revealed any timelines but it is likely that the initial cadres of thesee units are already up and running as had happened before. As for the equipment and infrastructures like camps and quarters, it is likely to be funded during the next 10 years. In the meantime it is likely as new equipment are delivered to the Army, the old ones will be reuse by these new units and not retired as assumed previously.
The release by Tentera Darat.
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