SHAH ALAM: The Army hold a major exercise – Eks Stallion – in the areas from Tapah, Perak to Rawang, Selangor between June 23 and July 4, 2013. Some 5000 soldiers and 300 vehicles from the Second and Fourth Division took part in the exercise which concentrated on Delaying Defence and Operations in Build Up Area (OBUA) operations.
Urban Warfare, mounted or not is a bloody, dirty and slow work. It does not lent much to observers especially when no live ammo is expanded. As the finale of the exercise was held some 100 metres from residents of the sparsely populated Taman Bukit Sentosa, Serendah, blanks and thunderclaps were the order of the day.
At a special designed MOUT complex, like those in the US and UK, the full capability of an infantry unit from small arms to mortars could be utilised adding to the realism of the exercise and therefore increasing its drama factor by a notch or two.
Anyhow for the closing ceremony, an assault to a clear an occupied shophouse from “enemy soldiers” was conducted coupled with a heliborne assault by commandos to “capture” the enemy for intelligence. With the Nuri already available, a medevac of a “seriously injured” soldier was also demonstrated.
As its a mounted operations exercise, four PT-91M Pendekar MBT also took part in the demonstration assisted by an Armoured Recovery Vehicle (a PT-91M derivative) by breaking a road block. With the road block smashed, an Armoured Vehicle Bridge Layer (AVLB) or PMC Leguan, another PT-91M derivative also demonstrated its bridge laying capability.
This was the first time that an ARV and AVLB had taken part in an exercise which was open to the media. To be honest I don’t understand the need for the commandos and MBTs to participate in the closing ceremony. Probably they wanted to add some drama to an otherwise dull but obviously very important training exercise.
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Zamri jaafar says:
July 5, 2013 at 1:02 am
Just to mention about the ARV…the vehicle is actually the MID-M armored enggineering vehicle (AEV).anyway the convoy was travelling using commercial trailers and created a massive jam on the NKVE north bound and from shah alam to damansara and south bound from bukit lanjan junction on a saturday evening as it stop just after the petronas station.every motorist and motorcyclist were slowing down just to see the beast of war.Btw the leguan had to be carried in two section ie two trailers 1 carrying the vehicle the other the leguan bridge itself.just wondering why the military trailers were not used.
As I had mentioned earlier posts, the tractors for tracked vehicles are limited as they are quite expensive to buy and maintain. There is another exercise going down in Johor and I believed the tanks were last minute addition to Eks Stallion and they had to used private low loaders to make it here
July 5, 2013 at 5:16 am
Sorry, misread you earlier.
Saw from another source that the manhole covers were either never installed or stolen by someone (safety issue).
Glad to see eye protection and pouches for the new vests filtering in, even if the vests are not great. Also the method of sling on the AUG is interesting.
Also saw a M4/M203 for the first time this week. This has been long in waiting. http://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/935264_580398888679235_525068174_n.jpg
About the missing manhole covers in the real world such things will be missing anyway!
July 5, 2013 at 7:13 am
It is now! Not enough ‘greys’ and ‘fedayeen’ in the OPFOR. Some motos, a few pickups and some suspicious kancils to keep everyone on edge. What they really should have is a bunch of Mak Nyah in miniskirts to keep everyone confused.
As for the SF guys, jeez Ace lids? This is some kinda Bokhara Market homage? At least have some MICH cuts or sumptin. And carry handles? Frikkin SF with carry handles? SUCKS to be them.
Slowly but surely…
July 5, 2013 at 7:18 am
Why do they have the 12″ M203? Sebab dungu. You only need the 9″ to handle everything. 12″ was to prevent idiots from mounting bayonets to their M16/203 combo.
Aiyoh…Ordnans needs to get out from under the tempurung.
The revised sling location on the AUG is interesting. It’s more like a 1.5 point.
July 5, 2013 at 7:59 am
At least they have their priorities right, kneepads and gloves. When I went to my 1st kursus karbin, I had no gloves. Mampus my fingers from manipulating the charging handle (No pak, telinga arnab tidak diizinkan) so that the drive to the center of tactical supplies, Wal-Mart was painful. A pair of lovely work gloves later and all was good. I then bought these OTT tacticool gauntlets and they were so uncomfortable, I gave them away and reverted to my WalMart specials.
Their eyewear looks a little dodgy though…..
That armor carrier is ridiculous. Circa 2002.
July 5, 2013 at 8:39 am
I have my suspicions that those are just ordinary guys roled as SF for the demo. They have a vest of unidentified camo pattern that is more comprehensive than the infantry guys vest. And appear to have both camelbaks and canteens.
They are from the GGK. I had a brief conversation with the team leader. They make do with what they are issued
July 5, 2013 at 8:51 am
Anyone expecting ballistic Wiley X at >$100 a pop will be waiting a long time. As for the SF protecting the LZ, they’d be doing a better job if some of them had climbed the stairs.
July 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm
Camelbaks suck. They get funky after a while and you have to change the actual bag. A canteen is much better in this regard.
Equipment is always a problem because of the extended procurement process and the notorious lack of bajet kecil.
I wonder how many times the PT-91s were killed as they careened around town. They look like the early days in Deraa before the Vampir teams came to town.
July 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm
IMO 1st Inf Div should have done a similar EX from Serikin/Tebedu to Kem Penrissen as the border is less than 40 miles to Kuching. Delaying Defence? For 1 Inf Div, maybe it will be a long wait to delay the OPFOR until heavy reinforcement from other Divs arrived. BTW, I can count the tanks/armour elements out of the 1 Inf Div EX, lack of drama then. But we have more civvies 4WD to act as OPFOR Technicals. AFAIK, EX Stallion is the 1st OBUA+DD shown to us civillian. Thanks to media folks (particularly Marhalim) who had brought ATM closer to us.
July 5, 2013 at 10:37 pm
“Marines make do.”
Beggars cannot be choosers
July 6, 2013 at 12:58 am
We can critisise and comment all we want but at the end of the day, the Malaysian army does not have tonnes of recent combat experience it can draw on. We got into the FIBUA [the modern term I believe is MOUT?] game pretty late and exercises like this are a good start. The units have to work with what they have under the existing guidelines. Contrary to popular belief, the units have a pretty good idea as to what works, what doesn’t, what they should get and what they shouldn’t; it is the varioius Directorates and the senior leadership [all of whom spent their careers in an infantry centric counter insurgency army] that are resistant to change.
History goes full circle. When we first deployed to the jungles of East Malaysia in 1965, we were equally clueless about operating and fighting in the jungle …
MOUT is when you are mounted in vehicles…From WW2 we know that many battles in urban terrain involved the infantry only and by the end of the war the ones that had back-up from tanks to aircraft were the ones that usually prevailed.
July 6, 2013 at 1:58 am
This only means we should do the reinforcement way in advance. Btw why do we not permanently station more forces in East Malaysia? It is because it is costlier to upkeep them, or are they given an allowance, or for political reasons?
I am not sure about politics, as I need to have a look at the Bill of the Malaysia Agreement first before I can comment but money is one of the biggest reason.
July 6, 2013 at 3:49 am
P.S. One of the first things the Israeli’s learnt when they got bogged down in Beirut in 1982, is that infantry units in urban areas badly need stuff that is not on the standard TOE, stuff like ladders, jackhammers, explosive charges, rope, loudspeakers, etc.
If I’m not mistaken the Nammo M-72 Anti Structure Material was ordered at the last DSA?
Short of combat experience, without a special MOUT complex to formulate doctrines and tactics it will be difficult to put things in perspective.
July 6, 2013 at 8:49 am
Cost: Does it really cost much more to supply a unit in East Malaysia, even if not in the remote areas? Are they paid an extra allowance for serving there?
Political reasons: I was thinking more of Malaysia and Indonesia keeping a light footprint in Kalimantan to avoid getting into a local or national arms race (which we would lose today).
From a military perspective I would put the bulk of the army there and I would focus them on MOUT. Because MOUT is costly and the adversary in East Malaysia is much more willing to engage in MOUT than in the one in the West.
Marhalim, I don’t think MOUT refers specifically to the mounted variety of FIBUA.
Yes I got acronym rojak all wrong
July 6, 2013 at 9:40 am
We learn from studying others and then trying it out. The biggest impact in the Syrian civil war has been the pulling of the Shabiha from the front lines and rebuilding them as proper units and finishing in battle schools. Mouseholing, comms trenches, periscopes etc. are all lessons relearned.
Youtube is our friend.
July 6, 2013 at 9:49 am
Watched the video. The body count should be horrendous as they get focused on fatal funnels and bunch. Someone should have just walked up to the whole platoon bunched in a shop lot and declared them all KIA from emplaced IED.
You need someone like Rommel to do things like that in a field exercise!
July 7, 2013 at 1:59 pm
The whole point of field exercises is to learn. Getting wiped out in an exercise means you have found a major flaw and can fix it.
OIF1 was 40 days of movement to contact due to totally useless intel on both sides.
FWIW, no unit has ever ‘won’ in the NTC against OPFOR. They have come close, but a spanking teaches better than a leisurely progression.
July 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm
1 Inf Div does conduct EX in the jungle/palm oil plantation along the main trunk road connecting the far flung cities of Sarawak. Heard jungle stories from a personnel involved in one such EX of joint ATM-TDDB held in Miri but he was “blur” when I raised the issue of defending/attacking a built up area.
Yes the Army remained very cautious about MOUT
July 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm
All these tanks, IFV, arty and air support advantage will be reduced when fighting in build up area. I hope the new TD leadership put extra effort to build up a force that can fight well enuf in build up area. Maybe the next MOUT EX, GAPU’s Bofi deployed as high-angle close gun support.
Unless we get a MOUT complex where live rounds can be fired from pistols to 155mm we won’t be able to develop doctrine and tactics. Using AA guns as AT/fire support weapons is not new but some one must approved it especially for training exercises as the rounds are not cheap! And I don’t think any 3 star (division commander level) will dare to put up his career on the line for such an unorthodox (for the Malaysian Army) tactics
July 8, 2013 at 12:15 pm
SAA thunder run type operations. They are getting a LOT better.
Its Grozny all over again
July 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm
We have to have unorthodox commanders so as to be flexible,cunning and unpredictable to the OPFOR, and I heard one brigade commander level acted ala Rommel in a field EX (he killed the Blue’s Team transport, forcing the team to move by foot). Seemed that lack of $$$ is the main culprit (again & again). You had strike out AA guns,how about flamethrowers?
Do we have flame throwers?
July 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm
The SAA lacks the outright firepower to turn places like Homs into car parks. Lots of economy of force in play, ergo Thunder Runs. They are also using mech and armor to make up for the limited infantry they have.
It is as always a cultural issue. You can’t possibly make your boss look like the idiot he is. Look at our Defence University. It’s just a paper mill. I would invite people like Gen. Hamdani of the Iraqi RG 1 Corps to talk about his experience and the evolving relationship between the RG and Saddam.
July 8, 2013 at 7:13 pm
GAPU’s guns would never be available for such use in a war.
In a war you make do with what you have…
July 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm
Marhalim, in Malaysian Army, division commanders are 3 stars?
Sorry my mistake, they are only 2-stars
July 8, 2013 at 9:48 pm
Of coz Malaysian Army don’t have flame throwers. Maybe RPG-7 used by EX Stallion OPFOR have thermobaric rounds? GAPU guns will be available if and only if ATM secured total air control over the battlefield or the RED Team don’t have air support. ATM & PDRM can count their blessings as Operasi Daulat did not spread into a town/major population center with concrete commercial buildings.
July 9, 2013 at 8:45 am
“The body count should be horrendous as they get focused on fatal funnels and bunch. Someone should have just walked up to the whole platoon bunched in a shop lot and declared them all KIA from emplaced IED.” – stanman
It’s called a “cluster-fu*k” (replace * with c).
“It is as always a cultural issue.” – stanman
Agreed. What is needed is a culture that rewards competence, merit and skill – not sycophants.
July 9, 2013 at 8:48 am
Can’t do much with only 48 PT-91M (MBTs), 6 WZT-4 (ARVs), 3 MID-M (AEVs), 5 PMC Leguan (AVLBs) and 1 driver training tank.
July 9, 2013 at 9:13 am
FIBUA was a British term first introduced in the 1980′s. Come the 1990′s, the Yanks started intoducing all these confusing new acronyms [whether it was meant to further confuse the public or help already confused Yank troops is the question] like ”EPW’, MOUT, OOTW etc. British centric acronyms like FIBUA and FEBA disappeared as NATO started adopting all these new acronyms.
The 25mm on the Adnans should have decent elevation to be used against raised floors but what will really come in handy will be stuff that infantry units are not normally issued with – ladders, rope, jack hammers, loudspeakers, C4 charges, etc. And off course lots and lots of grenades, shoulder fired suff [like the Nammo ASMs we ordered] and regular realistic training.
Problem with the BOFIs is that they are towed. We might end up with a situation where troops spent most of their time providing protection to the BOFIs. Should be mobile. The fighting that took place in Grozny should be the template in drawing up a FIBUA/MOUT doctrine.
zainal abidin says:
July 9, 2013 at 10:31 am
All the more the Malaysian Army needs heavy APC’s like the BMPT or BTR-T like NOW. Just to lessen the casualties in human lives and material.
Wheeled and even light tracked APC’s are just plain useless in FIBUA especially if the foe has RPG’s or HMG’s (12.7mm – 14.5mm) and have the courage to use them effectively.
Remember Bakara Market 1993?
July 9, 2013 at 2:08 pm
Was all that stuff on the PA commentary or Psyops?
July 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm
Enemies in ”East” and ”West”? One would think that we are Germany in WW2. State actor threats we face are maritime in nature, due to overlapping disputes we are in. In the event that things go ratshit over Ambalat and things happen on the ground, it will mostly be in semi-rural and rural areas in the Tawau/Tarakan area – it will not be in the interest of anyone to expend a border clash into a full scale conflict. No, people do not get extra allowances for serving in East Malaysia, this only applies to those serving in the Spratleys. In the unlikely even that we get into a full scale punch up with a state actor, West Malaysia is a much more realistic setting for FIBUA/MOUT than East Malaysia, for obvious reasons – there are less number of towns in the Tawau/Tarakan area and a less developed road network to support FIBUA/MOUT.
As for a ”light” footprint, the TNI has a new airbase across the border in Tarakan, it has Hawks based in Supadio [West Kalimantan], it has Su-30s only a few minutes away in Sulawesi, it is building a new sub base in Sulawesi, it has revived a territorial command to oversee East Kalimantan and once the Leopards in Java are fully operational, the Scorpions and Stormers will be based in Kalimantan. We have reportedly based our 3rd ASTROS regiment in Sabah. The we perceive our ”threats” differs greatly from how the Indons perceive their ”threats” – after losing Sipadan and Ligatan, they really got annoyed and worked up with what they saw as ”provocative” moves we made in Ambalat. Remember the Parchim that was on the verge of opening fire of KK Baung? To calm things down, ship COs operate under very strict ROEs and at times, the 40mm Bofors are even wrapped in tarp. A decision by Malaysia and Indonesia to ”shoo” away vessels in the disputed maritime boundary – rather than detain them – has gone a long way in reducing tensions. As for us, our main concern is current events in the Spratlys and in preventing the arrival of anymore unwanted ”guests” on the East coast…….
July 10, 2013 at 10:06 am
The term FIBUA dates at least to the sixties.
As for the likelihood of FIBUA in East and West Malaysia: It’s a given that a minor conflict will play out in rural areas. In a larger conflict, there may be fewer urban areas in East Malaysia but the only adversary state there is Indonesia which is more willing to fight in them.
July 10, 2013 at 10:51 am
Zainal, the BMPT and BTR-T do not solve anything. They are as vulnerable as the tanks they are based on. Our PT-91s use ERA but this is not suitable for troop carriers. They won’t be going many more places that that our AV-8 won’t go.
July 10, 2013 at 10:55 am
This is tank-infantry co-op in FIBUA.
July 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm
Never mind about who’s willing to fight in where or what ….. There are not many large towns in the area where any fighting is likely to take place – in the Tawau/Tarakan area. At the end of the day, exercises like Ex-Stallion are invaluable and is a good starting point.
July 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm
Contracts have been signed for the radar, guns, VDS, ventilation and air cond; and now this – http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2013/06/28/OSI-lands-Malaysian-navy-bridge-systems-work/UPI-30591372413840/
Now all we need is a firm contract for the actual platform and hope that BNS delivers as promised. Barring any delays [a big ‘if’] the first hull should be launched in 5 years and until then, an overstretched RMN – which is doing stuff that the MMEA is meant to do – will have to struggle with its limited number of hulls.
July 10, 2013 at 6:44 pm
“Our PT-91s use ERA” – AM
You reminded me of something… It is my understanding that ERA tiles can be deadly to infantry. Infantry needs to operate some distance from vehicles protected by ERA.
July 11, 2013 at 10:56 am
Even 1st gen Kontakt only posed a limited danger in terms of fly away plates. Stand behind the tank and you’re usually fine. Tanks are fire magnets anyway.
Kontakt-5, Nozh, Duplet etc. are all ‘contained’ as is ERAWA-2.
If the Army does not have a dedicated cadre to study the Syrian civil war, they are idiots. It is a fascinating example of how to sustain a long-duration conflict using limited resources.
I post the ANNA reports because they are actually so informative even if you do not gavaril pa russki.
If there is no Lt. Kol or Majors busy writing dissertations on the lessons militarily and also beyond of Aleppo, Homs and Darayya….they deserve to be a moribund service.
July 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm
Conflict studies are normally done by Lts or Captains as part of a study group under a more senior officer. There is no formal establishment – unfortunately – that analyses conflict studies and such things are normally done on an ad hoc basis. If the particular conflict is taking place in a country where there is a Malaysian Defence Attache, he will usually – using local sources – submit reports [including local papers] that will end up at the relevant Directorates and at the Armed Forces College [Highgate]. If there is no Malaysian Defence Attache, open sources including Al Jazeera/CNN/BBC will be relied on. In recent times, Youtube and channels we don’t get on ASTRO are used.
The question you should be asking is how effective is ERAWA against current generation KE penetrators :].
July 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm
I guarantee there is a dedicated cadre studying the Syrian civil war… The US Army.
Did you see the posts that I put up from ANNA awhile back? They had English subtitles.
July 11, 2013 at 7:22 pm
Azlan, I forgot BOFI is a towed AA gun. How to make make it mobile and armoured? Maybe “rempit” workshops nationwide could mount it on comercial lorries. Hey, why not cut up Condors and put BOFI on it? Is it possible to change the BOFI rounds from AA-mode to impact, which I believe it is much more simpler thus cheaper than a VT/proximity/air burst round?
July 11, 2013 at 8:29 pm
If past trends are any guide, army won’t be getting tracked APC or even more AV-8. Likely instead to get Deftech AV-4 forced on them.
July 12, 2013 at 9:53 am
Let’s not convert the 35mm and prolong the Army’s reliance on line of sight weapons for fire support. I hope this will go out together with our various wheeled platforms as the AV-8 comes in.
Developing sights, stabilisation, feeding, protection etc for it is not worthwhile anyway… nor is the Condor able to take the weight.
July 12, 2013 at 6:24 pm
AM, is the BOFI 30mm @ 40mm? Alrite, I rest my case, let BOFI be BOFI AAA. No need to convert it to FIBUA L.O.S-Gun mated with Condor.
I believe the BOFI he is refering to is the Bofors 40mm most of which had been retired. The other AAA guns are the GD-35mm Oerlikon that comes together with their Skyguard radar
July 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm
BOFI is a 40mm L/70 fitted with a stabilised sight that we bought new in 1976 – along with the Giraffes – and were later refurbished at the Naval Dockyard. We also had ex-Aussie and Brit L/60s and L/70s that were retired decades ago. Not many know that we also had 20mm Oerlikons at some point. Our BOFIs have recently been placed into storage, the unit that operated them have the Igla.
Anyway, why the need for an AA gun for urban ops whan shoulder fired weapons [themobaric warheads would be nice] and auto-cannons mounted on hard skin vehicles will do the job?? Mounting a 40mm on a Condors doen’t make sense as it would be vulnerable to return direct fire and anyhow, it’s too heavy too mount on a Condor.
The Russians have their own ”blockbuster” [in a literal sense] – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOS-1
July 15, 2013 at 7:18 pm
RPG-7 backblast is something dangerous to the operator and everyone nearby in confined spaces. Like to see TD get AT shoulder launcher or RPG that does not produce backblast.
The AT4 CS is a good candidate
July 16, 2013 at 12:33 am
We have the C-90. We also ordered the Namo ASM last DSA. Both have a reduced backblast.
July 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm
Chah…pop rockets. You need BIG ROCKETS like the Vampir and 4 man teams to make the most of them. Who just happen to handily fit in a Hilux…:P
Zek MR says:
July 17, 2013 at 11:36 am
The army needs proper and permanent OBUA training facilities.
As the brigade level exercise done, next, ATM should go for a bigger scale military exercise (last was Ex Gonzales long long time ago during insurgency) – combining all the elements of the armed forces including the landing of Su-30MKM combat aircrafts
on Lebuhraya Pantai Timur!
Kem Sirajudin is supposed to be the premier combined training site. I believed an OBUA training site is being built though not sure whether they will have two sites, one for simulated and the other for live fire
July 17, 2013 at 6:33 pm
Can the Su-30MKM land on the LPT? Or will the LPT need to be upgraded before a landing would be possible? The Su-30MKM is a heavy aircraft. And remember it needs to take off after it lands…
I believe everyone has seen the awesome short landing and takeoff capabilities demonstrated by the Gripen on Sweden’s roadways. (Gripen in a 1/3 the size of the Su-30.) I don’t believe the Su-30 was designed for such contingencies. One needs not only an agile aircraft and an excellent pilot, but also highly mobile and competent ground crews equipped and trained for such operations.
If the LPT is sufficiently prepared and the Sukhoi pilots and ground crew are trained for it, I dont think it will be a big problem. That said I have never heard of such scenario
July 18, 2013 at 2:14 am
Training aside, the weapons loadout and amount of fuel carried on the MKM would be a factor.At the end of the day, one can train and prepare all they want, but one can never sustain the same operational rates when operating away from base. It is also often not realised that a lot of planning and preparation is involved whenever the RSAF operates its jets from highways.
zainal abidin says:
July 18, 2013 at 7:40 am
Can our PT-91M’s 12.7mm M2 AA gun be aimed and fired from within the turret? Looks kind of very vulnerable if the gunner has to fire while holding the gun especially during FIBUA.
July 18, 2013 at 7:20 pm
That AA HMG on top Pendekar’s turret can’t be fired when the tank is buttoned-up, its setup is similar to HMG installed on MIFV, so the gunner will be exposed. Now TD have AT Hunter-Killer teams centered on 4WD of G-Wagon, oh yeah missed those Jeep c/w 106mm recoilless gun. Hope it is in storage. If TD can parade that legacy Ferret and once a while that ol’ Commando, I never see the Jeep anymore.
“Chah…pop rockets. You need BIG ROCKETS …” Bakhtiar Shikan is BIG but issued only to mechanized troops. Get more BSs and Hiluxs?
July 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm
Yup, the RSAF exercises on a road just adjacent to the air base. Open the gate and the plane can taxi from the shelter to the strip. The other highway strip will be slightly more difficult but is still very close to Changi Air Base. Anyway all the air bases have several taxiways that can be used.
Yes, the M2 on the PT-91M has a solenoid trigger. But if you’re talking about FIBUA, the whole tank is vulnerable.
July 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm
Upgrading the LPT? You guys serious? Anybody who travels frequently to the east will realize how hard/expensive that would be, even for any given stretch. The foundation under a lot of (most?) the LPT is swamp/tanah paya, hence all the kuali holes, and overloaded trucks make matter worse. Try taking a bus to Kuantan some time to see how bad it is.
No lah. I was saying that the MKMs are easily prepared for off airfield operations. Some part of the LPT like the one near Temerloh may be suitable for such operations. It must be said that I have never heard of any plans for such operations though I am purview to all air force plans.