Malaysian Armed Forces vs Somali Pirates : The Story of Ops Fajar
Here’s some of actual rescue operations during Ops Fajar that has been conducted by elements of Malaysian Armed Forces.
1. Bunga Melati 2 and Bunga Melati 5
Bunga Melati 2
Bunga Melati 5
Bunga Melati 2 was hijacked by Somali pirates on August 19, 2008. Ten days later, another Malaysian vessel, Bunga Melati 5 was also hijacked. As a response to the events, the Malaysian army has sent a contingent of ships, helicopters as well as SOF personnel in bid to rescue the captive hostages.
RMAF and RMN helicopters such as the Nuri, Super Lynx and Fennec were embarked from KD Pahang, KD Lekiu and KD Sri Inderapura. When the ransom was paid and all of the hostages were released, the MAF sent in a troop of GGK’s Anaconda team as well as RMN’s PASKAL SOF operators to secure both vessel.
Interestingly, the RMAF Nuri was painted in white and had MISC marking on its fuselage. This is probably a diversion to the pirates as bid to camouflage its military identity. The convoy then escorted both ships to safety before heading home to Lumut Naval Base.
2. Zhenhua 4
While setting sail to China from Djibouti, the Zhenhua 4 was attacked by nine armed pirates on December 18, 2008. Since KD Indera Sakti was relatively close to the distressed vessel, it was called on by NATO’s Combined Task Force 150 for immediate help and response. KD Indera Sakti deployed a Fennec helicopter including a PASKAL sniper to assist the vessel.
After firing two warning shots at the pirates skiff, the armed bandit called off their attack and retreated to their mothership.
3. MT Abul Kalam Azad
On January 1, 2009, PASKAL operator attached to RMN Fennec helicopter manage to drove off two pirate skiffs pursuing an Indian tanker known as MT Abul Kalam Azad. The 92,000 tonne vessel was heading to Suez Canal when it was attacked by the pirates.
MT Abul Kalam Azad
After being strafed with a barrage of fire, the vessel had send a distress signal which was subsequently picked up by KD Indera Sakti. A Fennec and PASKAL sniper were dispatched from KD Indera Sakti to assist the tanker. A Saudi AS-365 Dauphin 2 also joint forces in which they have managed to scare off the marauding pirates.
4. Bunga Mas 6
On January 16, 2009, an MISC container vessel, the Bunga Mas 6 suffered a mechanical problem which lead the vessel to stalled right in the middle of pirate infested Gulf of Aden. Moments later, several pirate skiff were seen approaching the vessel with more are also following behind. The ship had then send a distress call to the escorting KD Mahawangsa for help which then quickly rushed a Super Lynx to ward off the pirate.
The Super Lynx manage to thwart away the raiding skiff thus saving the Bunga Mas 6 from being hijacked by the notorious Somali pirates.
5. MT Bunga Laurel
MT Bunga Laurel
After just two hours leaving the safe corridor off the coast of Oman, a Malaysian tanker, the MT Bunga Laurel was hijacked by seven Somali pirates. Prior to locking themselves in heavily fortified Citadel, the captain managed to send distress signal to RMN Auxilliary ship Bunga Mas 5.
The Bunga Mas 5 responded by dispatching a Fennec helicopter as well as several RHIBs to regain back the vessel. At the same time, the BM 5 was also engaged in a firefight with the pirate’s mothership. Thanks to aerial support given by the Fennec, the mothership was kept at bay thus failing to support and reinforced the armed gang already boarding MT Bunga Laurel.
With quick and swift action by PASKAL operators, all of the pirates on board the Malaysian tanker were overwhelmed and successfully captured. All of them are now under the Malaysian custody awaiting for their trials at the Malaysian court.