The 19th Malaysian Chief of Defence Forces YM General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi bin Raja Mohamed Noor who took over command from his predecessor on the 16th December 2016 today delivered his Prime Directives.
He did so to 2,100 men and women of the Malaysian Armed Forces at the Kuantan Airbase on the 23rd January 2017.
He outlined four pillars that would ensure the Malaysian Armed Forces remain a credible force in the eyes of friends and foes alike.
We Are One basically requires all three services of the MAF to cooperate as an entity and that being different from one another should not be an obstacle towards achieving a unified objective.
Professionalism Moulds Excellence is where every member of the MAF should strive towards enhancing their knowledge and skills as the goals of the MAF can only be achieved through having an edge in knowledge and skills.
Potent Force requires efficient management of assets as well as human resources development through which integrity would provide for effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation.
We Strive To Do Good is about maintaining the image of the MAF through core values and code of ethics of the MAF. These values are based on spiritual strength, bravery and esprit de corps.
General Raja Mohamed Affandi’s message was broadcasted to all formation headquarters, divisions, brigades, bases and units around Malaysia via video conferencing.
In attendance were the Chief of the Malaysian Army, Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy as well as the Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.
He later greeted men and women of the MAF while having light refreshments with them after the parade.
“I want all of us to work together to see how best can we meet our objectives even with budget constraints,” said the 18th Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), General Dato’ Sri Hj Affendi bin Buang TUDM to the officers, men and women of the RMAF after delivering his Prime Directives as the new Chief of RMAF.
General Affendi did not mince words when speaking to the audience about the tough times that the RMAF will face. “We must ensure that our assets and people are prepared and competent to undertake these challenges without compromising the integrity of the sovereignty of our nation, and at the same time be able to service the general population in times of need,” he added.
General Affendi thanked his predecessor General Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Roslan bin Saad TUDM who has just retired for leaving a solid foundation for the former to work on to ensure that the RMAF remains relevant to the nation.
General Affendi then outlined the focus areas of his Prime Directive – Preparedness, Effective Maintenance Culture, Magnificent Human Capital Development, Technological Migration, Excellent Management Culture and Welfare.
Stressing especially on human capital development General Affendi said that trained next generation air force’s (AF-NG) personnel need to possess traits like intelligence, analytical, robust, IT-savvy, forward thinking and innovative. For this to be achieved, competency-based training and assessment (CBTA) will be given to all levels of personnel.
Speaking to reporters after the ceremony General Affendi stressed that CBTA will complement real-life competency requirements, especially for the front-line pilots whose skills need of certain competency-level.
“The budget constraints will no doubt hamper us from carrying out many things. However, the RMAF has been thinking outside the box and have been adapting to the situation by emphasising on technology such as the use of simulators to complement actual flying for the pilots. This would allow us to maintain our levels of skills and readiness even with a dwindling budget,” he said.
“At no time will the RMAF allow for anything that would cause to undermine the sovereignty of the nation. That is the reason we exist and that is our main objective,” he said in reply to questions on budget constraints as well as the development in the South China Sea.
On the question of the floods in the East Coast of the Peninsular, General Affendi said the RMAF is closely monitoring the developments. As of yesterday, a EC-725 helicopter has been deployed to the Gong Kedak Airbase to assist with flood relief operations if needed. More helicopters will be deployed depending on how the situation develops.
On LIMA ’17, General Affendi said that the planning had commenced a year ago and the RMAF is committed towards providing the best air show. Foreign air display teams have been invited. However, there is no confirmation from any of the teams invited as of today.
On the question of assets procurement General Affendi stressed that although there is a budget constraint the Government has allowed the RMAF to plan for assets procurement including the Multi-Role Combat Aircraft. These assets would be procured once the budget is there.
Earlier, a handing-over and taking-over ceremony took place for the Air Support Commander and Air Operations Commander posts. Lieutenant-General Dato Paduka Wan Normazlan bin Che Jaafar TUDM took over the Air Support Commander post from Lieutenant-General Dato’ Hj Abd Mutalib bin Datuk Hj Ab Wahab TUDM who in turn took over the Air Operations Commander post from Lieutenant-General Dato’ Sri Ackbal bin Hj Abdul Samad TUDM who is now the Deputy Chief of the RMAF.
General Dato’ Sri Hj Affendi bin Buang TUDM who is also the first RMAF Chief from Sarawak was given a guard of honour comprising of three RMAF officers and 104 other ranks from the RMAF Regiment led by Major Mohd Syafik bin Saadun TUDM.
The nation, especially the Royal Malaysian Air Force, said goodbye to one of its finest, Major Kayamboo Chellam TUDM who perished in an accident involving the aircraft he captained at the Butterworth Airbase.
Despite the reduction in the defence budget the Royal Malaysian Air Force shall continue to deliver all operational and mission requirements in 2017. The Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, General Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Roslan bin Saad TUDM reassured to reporters at a press conference after the 2016 RMAF Excellence Awards Ceremony at the Subang Airbase this morning.
“The Commanders and I have sat down and planned to ensure that the RMAF will meet the requirements as well as find ways to continue developing its human capital as well as maximising assets interoperability in line with its One Service, One Vision, One Mission concept,” he added. “It is true that we are concerned about the reduction in budget allocation but that should not stop us from delivering what is required of us. Training of skills that could be developed through the use of technologies such as simulators will be implemented according to the requirements.”
It is learnt that the RMAF had succeeded in increasing its interoperability by successfully operating western-developed munitions using its Sukhoi Su-30MKM Flankers as firing platforms during the recently-concluded Exercise Paradise 3/2016. Details of the types of munitions used has not been made public thus far.
Defence analysts also observed that the RMAF’s BAe Hawk 108/208 aircraft based in Labuan have made successful interceptions of foreign military aircraft in support of the operations by its mainstay fighter assets.
Earlier General Tan Sri Roslan presented the ‘Best Airman of the Year’ awards to three non-commissioned officers and a warrant officer for displaying excellence in performing their daily tasks, maintenance of high standard of discipline, adherence to orders and leadership qualities observed.
Two flying squadrons also received the ‘Squadron of the Year’ award for the efficient management of their respective squadrons as well as able to provide quality service in the aspect of flight operations, while two aircraft fleets – the BAe Hawk 108/208 and the Lockheed C-130H received the ‘Special Achievement Award’ based on the shared values of the squadrons operating these aircraft that have produced an effetive outcome in terms of operational readiness.
General Tan Sri Roslan, who will be retiring at the end of the year, also said that the RMAF under the leadership of his successor shall continue to strive for excellence as it has done in similarly difficult times in the past.
Also present were the Deputy Chief of the RMAF Lt General Dato’ Sri Hj Affendi bin Buang TUDM, Air Operations Commander Lt Gen Dato’ Sri Ackbal bin Hj Abdul Samad TUDM, Air Support Commander Lt Gen Dato’ Sri Hj Abdul Mutalib bin Datuk Hj Ab Wahab TUDM as well as other senior officers and the rank and file of the RMAF.
In another step for Malaysia into strengthening ties with its neighbours, the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) plays its part by strengthening its cameraderie with its Indonesian counterpart, the Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU).
Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di Pertuan Agong Almu’tasimu Billahi Muhibbuddin Tuanku AlHaj Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah as the Field Marshall and Commander-in-Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces saw it fit to bestow upon the Chief of Staff of the TNI-AU, Air Chief Marshal Agus Supriatna, the honorary award of the Darjah Panglima Gagah Angkatan Tentera (PGAT).
To present the award on behalf of His Majesty was the Deputy Minister of Defence, Dato’ Sri Mohd Johari bin Baharum. The ceremony was held at the Ministry of Defence in Kuala Lumpur.
ACM Agus began his military career in 1983 and became a A-4 Skyhawk pilot from the No.11 Squadron based at the Lanud Iswahjudi Madiun (Iswahyudi Air Force Base) in East Java town of Maospati in the Magetan Province. He was promoted to his current post in 2015.
ACM Agus who is on a two-day working visit to Malaysia also paid a coutesy call to the RMAF Chief, General Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Roslan bin Saad TUDM at the latter’s office.
The ceremony was attended by senior officers from the RMAF, the Royal Malaysian Navy, the Malaysian Army as well as members of the TNI-AU delegation.
Hari ini saya diajukan beberapa soalan dari berbagai pihak mengenai kejadian yang melibatkan sebuah pesawat helikopter Sikorsky S-61A4 Nuri milik TUDM di Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Balung, Tawau. Untuk memudahkan penulisan, izinkan saya menulis dalam bentuk soalan-soalan yang telah diajukan kepada saya:
SOALAN 1: Media telah menggunakan perkataan “terhempas” namun pihak TUDM menggunakan istilah “mendarat cemas.” Boleh Kapten terangkan perbezaan kedua-dua istilah tersebut?
Istilah “terhempas” menggambarkan suatu situasi diluar kawalan. Sebagai contoh, pesawat mengalami kegagalan sepenuhnya fungsi alat kawalan yang mengakibatkan sesuatu pesawat itu terus jatuh diluar kawalan (uncontrolled descent).
Akibat kejadian “terhempas” kebiasaannya akan mengakibatkan kemusnahan total kepada kerangka pesawat, disertai kehilangan jiwa dan/atau kecederaan parah kepada majoriti penumpang.
“Mendarat cemas” ataupun “pendaratan kecemasan” ialah suatu tindakan yang dilakukan sebagai respon kepada sesuatu kejadian kecemasan, contohnya respon juruterbang kepada kegagalan fungsi enjin pesawat. Dalam kejadian semalam pada pengamatan saya, juruterbang telah bertindak untuk cuba mendaratkan pesawat di suatu tempat lapang di antara dua blok sekolah menggunakan kaedah “auto-rotation” namun telah tidak cukup masa untuk mencapai kawasan tersebut. Siasatan oleh pihak TUDM akan memberi lebih pencerahan mengenai kejadian ini.
SOALAN 2: Pada pendapat Kapten, apa punca kejadian? Adakah ia boleh dielak?
Semua kejadian boleh dielak. Namun kita tiak boleh menjangkakan sesuatu yang bakal berlaku walaupun semua langkah telah diambil untuk mengelak sebarang kejadian yang tidak diingini. Contoh terbaik: Lewis Hamilton terpaksa keluar dari perlumbaan F1 di litar Sepang baru-baru ini walaupun sedang mendahului para pesaing lain akibat kerosakan enjin walaupun penyelenggaraannya amat baik. Hanya siasatan terperinci dapat memberi gambaran punca kerosakan kepada pesawat Nuri tersebut dan juga kereta yang dipandu Lewis Hamilton tempoh hari.
SOALAN 3: Masalah teknikal dikatakan antara punca kejadian. Adakah wujud faktor tersebut atau Nuri itu sendiri tidak boleh diselenggarakan lagi kerana usianya yang sudah lanjut?
TUDM, sayap udara TLDM dan Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat mempunya rejim penyelenggaraan pesawat yang amat baik. Usia lanjut sesebuah pesawat itu tidak banyak memainkan peranan sekiranya penyelenggaraan adalah baik.
SOALAN 4: Adakah pesawat Nuri kita terlalu tua dan tidak sesuai lagi untuk latihan memandangkan komponen dan besi pesawat sudah uzur dan haus seperti didakwa sesetengah pihak?
Masih banyak varian Sikorsky S-61 yang masih digunakan di seluruh dunia termasuk juga yang digunakan oleh State Department Amerika Syarikat. Malah ianya juga salah satu helikopter yang digunakan untuk mengangkut Presiden Amerika Syarikat. Tentera Udara DiRaja New Zealand masih menerbangkan pesawat Hercules C-130 mereka yang sudah berumur 51 tahun. Usia pesawat bukan merupakan faktor.
SOALAN 5: Apakah sudah sampai masa Nuri digantikan bagi megelakkan insiden yang sama berlaku? Jika tidak, adakah Nuri masih lagi perlu digunakan?
Nuri adalah pesawat yang masih diperlukan. Aset-aset Nuri TUDM juga kini diserapkan ke dalam Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat untuk tujuan “air mobility.” TUDM menggantikan pesawat Nuri bukan kerana usia atau masalah penyelenggaraan tetapi adalah kesesuaian peranan yang dimainkan oleh TUDM seperti Combat Search and Rescue, Special Forces Insertion and Extraction yang memerlukan helikopter berperanan khusus. Pesawat Nuri juga telah melalui beberapa proses penambahbaikan kerangka dan avionics untuk menentukan ianya selaras dengan keperluan masa kini. Ini termasuk peningkatan upaya gearbox, bilah kipas utama dan bilah kipas ekor dan pautan data digital. Malah peningkatan upaya pesawat Nuri dengan memperkenalkan “glass cockpit” atau kawalan digital sepenuhnya yang sesuai digunakan dengan teropong kegunaan malam (night-vision goggles) telah dilakukan untuk sesetengah pesawat Nuri.
Ini menunjukkan pesawat Nuri masih lagi relevan, terutama untuk tujuan pengangkutan saiz sederhana atau penghantaran platun infantri ke medan.
SOALAN 6: Apa nasihat, cadangan, pandangan Kapten kepada TUDM demi masa depan aset seperti Nuri dan keselamatan pengguna helikopter tersebut?
Kementerian Pertahanan perlu menentukan “end-user” mendapat bajet yang diperlukan untuk menentukan perolehan, pengoperasian dan penyelenggaraan aset-aset bukan sahaja TUDM, malah untuk Angkatan Tentera Malaysia amnya, dapat diteruskan dengan baik dan memenuhi doktrin Angkatan Tentera Malaysia.
Despite lesser budget, the annual joint exercise between the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) dubbed ANGSA (short for ANGkasaraya and SAmudra) for 2017 will be executed as planned. Asked at the closing ceremony of Exercise ANGSA 11/16, Chief of the RMAF General Tan Sri Roslan bin Saad TUDM said that there is no necessity for the joint exercise to be put on hold.
“Both the Air Force and the Navy who will become the host for next year’s exercise will ensure that the budget will meet the requirements of the objectives of the exercise,” he told reporters at the No.18 Squadron’s auditorium. “It is important that the Malaysian Armed Forces grasps its interoperability requirements especially when such need arises.”
On the question of the replacement of the medium-range surface-to-air missile for the RMN’s Laksamana-class corvettes, Vice-Admiral Dato’ Anuwi bin Hassan TLDM said the RMN Commanders Committee Meeting shall discuss the replacement of the ASPIDE system.
Exercise ANGSA 11/16 involved a Command Post Exercise and for the first time sees the involvement of elements of the Malaysian Army.
13-year old Muhammad Farhan Najmi bin Johari from Jasin, Melaka, dreamt of soaring high in the skies as a fighter pilot in the Royal Malaysian Air Force. His dream, however, was dashed when he was diagnosed as having Germ Cell Tumour, a condition that would definitely deprive him of his future.
In conjunction with the 59th Merdeka Day celebration’s theme ‘Sehati Sejiwa‘ and in line with the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s tagline ‘We Are One‘, the RMAF collaborated with a non-governmental organisation called ‘Make A Wish Malaysia‘ to grant Farhan’s wish.
Farhan who is the third among three siblings was referred to ‘Make A Wish Malaysia‘ by his doctor. According to Irene Tan, CEO of Make A Wish Malaysia, children between the age of 3 to 18 when referred, residing in Malaysia who have been diagnosed with life-threatening medical condition are eligible to have their wish granted. The child’s presiding physician will then have to certify if the child is medically eligible.
Among those whose wish was granted was 9-year old Aqilah whose dream was to become a flight stewardess. Make A Wish Malaysia made her dream come true in 2010 partnering with Malaysia Airlines and Pelangi Beach Resort, Langkawi.
Representing the RMAF, Chief of Staff of Air Region 1, Brig Gen Dato Abd Manaf bin Md Zaid TUDM in his speech said the RMAF is always committed to support members of the public whenever possible as this also serves to remind the public that the RMAF is one with them.
Farhan’s father, Encik Johari, was choked with tears of happiness that his son’s wish has finally been made true.
We wish Farhan a speedy recovery, long life, and every success in his life. Thank you to Make A Wish Malaysia and the Royal Malaysian Air Force for granting his wish.
2016 has seen the Royal Malaysian Air Force lose two of its valuable assets – a CN235 transport aircraft, and a MB-339CM lead-in fighter trainer. To top that, there is still no announcement of a stop-gap measure to replace the MiG-29N.
The shortfall is very noticeable especially among observers whom have noted that in regional exercises, the RMAF would normally commit four fighters per squadron while a neighbour could easily muster ten.
The Royal Malaysian Navy has recently embarked on its Littoral Combat Ship program. This has been a long-awaited program given that China has forward bases in the Spratlys after reclaiming some 1,170 hectares. Commercial aircraft have been landing at the airstrips built there, we know what those airstrips are able to handle.
The Falklands War of 1982 and the Force ‘Z’ disaster closer to home on 10th December 1941 are poignant reminders that air superiority and the element of surprise are critical in modern air and naval warfare. Without the MiG-29s or their replacements force projection is somewhat limited. Maritime Patrol Aircraft play an important role in locating enemy surface assets, while airborne tankers will allow air assets to have longer loiter and patrol capabilities. As written in a previous article an Airborne Early Warning system would also help the RMAF to “see beyond” what it currently could. The RMAF has been in want of AEW assets since the 1980s, a dream yet to be fulfilled.
Also important would be a mobile radar in the Peninsular with at least three in Sabah and Sarawak would enhance our air defence capabilities. Passive radar system would also enhance aircraft identification process.
Importantly everything should be at a minimum operational and combat readiness level of seventy percent. And this number should include the spares we need to run these systems.
The RMAF has very good and skilled human assets but without the tools needed to make the organisation combat-effective. Again, it is hoped that the government can pay serious attention to the needs of the Armed Forces – the RMAF in particular. A stop-gap measure with over 70 percent operational and combat readiness is what the government needs to assist the RMAF with.
Only then the RMAF would truly be “Sentiasa Di Angkasaraya.”
Happy 58th Anniversary, RMAF. We hope your dreams will soon come true.
A flight of B-52 bombers from the USAF flew around Second Thomas Shoal and Mischief Reef in the Spratlys and were quickly challenged by Chinese Air Traffic Controller during the weekend of the 8th and 9th November 2015.
US PACAF released the transcript of the exchange between the bombers and the Chinese ATC and was reproduced by Alert 5 and are as follows:
Chinese ATC: “You have violated my reef. Change your course to avoid misjudgement.”
Chinese ATC: “You have violated the security of my reef. Change course to avoid misjudgment.”
Reply from the B-52: “I’m a United States military aircraft conducting lawful activities in international waters, and exercising these rights as guaranteed by international law. In exercising these rights as guaranteed by international law, I am operating with due regard to the right and duties of all states.”
China has been making de facto claims on the Spratlys by doing reclamation works on reefs that include the construction of airfields and enforcing its “Nine-Dash Line” policy all the way into Malaysian Exclusive Economic Zone. Being the sole regional Big Brother China has been flexing its muscle against its smaller neighbours economically and militarily. China’s runway at Fiery Cross reef has a runway that could land a H-6G bomber that could operate 5,700 kilometres from a home base, not to mention Shenyang J-11 fighters that could operate within a radius of 1,400 kilometres. Malaysia is now within a 45-minute strike distance.
As if that is not enough, the threat if asymmetric warfare from Sulu in the southern Philippines is also a clear and present danger. On the 15th November 2015, the Abu Sayyaf was reported to have met with elements from the IS to conduct terrorist attacks in Malaysia. The Abu Sayyaf is also notorious fir the kidnappings of westerners and Malaysians alike.
With the above in mind, the Royal Malaysian Air Force conducted and concluded Exercise Paradise 2/15 from the 9th until the 20th November 2015. With the objective to test its combat readiness and capabilities in the Second Air Region, the RMAF deployed assets such as the F/A-18D Hornet, Su-30MKM Flanker, BAe Hawk, 108/208, C-130H-30 transport aircraft, KC-130 tankers, CN-235 transport aircraft, helos such as the Sikorsky S61A4 Nuri and the Eurocopter EC725 and also involved the RMAF Special Forces regiment. The Malaysian Army’s 10th Brigade (Para) provided a team of air despatchers.
Up until the 18th November 2015, a total of 198 air sorties had been flown. During the Field Training Exercise (FTX) RMAF assets successfully conducted Air to Ground firing exercises as well as Air Drop operations and insertion of special forces elements to support ground operations.
During the War Exercise (WAREX), the assets were then combined for Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), High-Value Air Asset Protection (HVAAP), Combined Air Operations (COMAO), Mixed Fighter Force Operation (MFFO) and Large Force Employment (LFE).
According to Exercise Chairman, Major General Dato’ Mohd Shabre bin Haji Hussein RMAF, the exercise achieved more than 90 percent of its objectives in accordance with the Scenarios of Exercise (SOE) and was a success.
The media was also invited to witness the exercise in a bid by the Ministry of Defence as well as the RMAF in educating the media, and in turn the public, on the capabilities of the RMAF and the importance of public support towards the Malaysian Armed Forces in general.
Members of media had the privilege to take part in a Aircraft Force Down exercise involving fighter and transport assets.
In an observation by this writer, the Ministry of Defence has to seriously look at beefing up the assets of both the Royal Malaysian Air Force as well as the Royal Malaysian Navy. The Chinese government gets away with murder in the South China Sea simply because Malaysia lacks effective deterrence. The RMAF for example should be equipped with AWACS aircraft as well as the still-elusive MRCA.
This writer opines that in line with the principles of force projection, MRCAs should also be based in Labuan in sufficient numbers to deter the advance of PLAAF and PLAN assets, while the Hawks concentrate especially in providing air support for the ESSZONE by having forward operating bases in Tawau and Lahad Datu or Sandakan. Without strong deterrence, Malaysia will never be able to have diplomatic bargainjng power against any larger forces in the region.