|Special Forces Commandh|
|Komando Pasukan Khusus / Kopassus|
Insignia of Kopassus.
|Active||16 April 1952 -- present|
|Branch||Indonesian Army (TNI-AD)|
|Type||Special Operation Forces|
|Size||Division (4 brigades and 1 training center)|
|Part of||Indonesian National Armed Forces, Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI)|
|Nickname(s)||Hantu Rimba (Ghost of the Jungle), Baret Merah (Red Berets), Komando|
|Motto(s)||Indonesian: Berani, Benar, dan Berhasil ("Brave, Rightful, and Successful")|
|Commandant General||Major General TNI Mohammad Hasan, S.H.|
|Deputy Commandant General||Brigadier General TNI Tri Budi Utomo, S.E.|
The Kopassus (Indonesian: Komando Pasukan Khusus, Special Forces Command) is an Indonesian Army (TNI-AD) special forces group that conducts special operations missions for the Indonesian government, such as direct action, unconventional warfare, sabotage, counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, intelligence gathering and Special reconnaissance (SR). Kopassus was founded on 16 April 1952. It gained worldwide attention after several operations such as the Indonesian invasion of East Timor and the release of hostages from Garuda Indonesia Flight 206.
The Special Forces spearheaded some of the government's military campaigns: putting down regional rebellions in the late 1950s, the Operation Trikora (Western New Guinea campaign) in 1961-1962, the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation from 1962-1966, the massacres of alleged communists in 1965, the East Timor invasion in 1975, and subsequent campaigns against separatists in various provinces.
Kopassus is reported by national and international media, human rights-affiliated NGOs and researchers to have committed violations of human rights in East Timor, Aceh, Riau and Papua and the capital Jakarta. Published articles in mainstream media may include epithets such as "the notorious Kopassus" or "abusive Indonesian unit".
On 15 April 1952, Colonel Alexander Evert Kawilarang began to form Kesatuan Komando Tentara Territorium III/Siliwangi (Kesko TT), the early name of Kopassus and the basis for this historic special forces unit.
Not long after, Colonel Kawilarang with the use of military intelligence located and met with Major Rokus Bernardus Visser--a former member of the Dutch Special Forces who had remained in newly independent Indonesia, settled in West Java, married an Indonesian woman, and was known locally as Mochammad Idjon Djanbi. He was the first recruit for the Indonesian special forces, as well as its first commander. Due to him, the unit which later became Kopassus wear red berets (color traditionally favored by airborne troops in Europe) instead of the distinctive green beret.
At that time, Indonesia's special force name was 3rd Territorial Army Command Commando Unit (Indonesian: Kesatuan Komando Teritorium Tiga (Kesko TT)). Kopassus was the final result of five name changes: KTT, KKAD (KK Angkatan Darat, Army Commando Forces Unit), RPKAD, Puspassus (Army Special Forces Department) and Kopassandha. The first generation of this force was only around a hundred soldiers or one company, headquartered in Bandung. Among its pioneer instructors was a young veteran of the Indonesian National Revolution, future Minister of Defense Leonardus Benjamin Moerdani, who later became a battalion commander and later led his paratroopers to crush the two twin rebellions in 1957-58 by the Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia and Permesta.
As the RPKAD (Resimen Para Komando Angkatan Darat, Army Para-Commando Regiment),a name used in the 1960s, and expanded into a three-battalion special forces airborne regiment, the para-military force was involved in the widespread killings during Gen. Suharto's rise to power. An estimated half-a million people were killed in the anti-communist purge with strong communal overtones.
The unit also saw action during the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation when in 1965, Indonesia launched a war for control of North Borneo (Sabah/Sarawak) during Malaysian independence, particularly in the Battle of Sungei Koemba In 1981, with Moerdani yet again at the lead, a Kopassandha company was deployed to Bangkok as part of the efforts to rescue Garuda Indonesia Flight 206 from hijackers.
Kopassus organizational structure is different from the infantry units in general. Although Kopassus members generally came from the Infantry Corps, Kopassus created its own structure, which is different from infantry units.
Kopassus units intentionally do not use the nomenclature of standard infantry units. This is apparent in their units called Groups. With this unit, Kopassus can deploy a brigade plus size (about 5,000 personnel), or fewer.
There are Five (5) groups of Kopassus which are:
Except for Pusdikpassus, which serves as an educational center, other Groups have combat oriented operational functions. Each Group (except Pusdikpassus) is subdivided into battalions, for example: Yon 11, 12, 13 and 14 (from Group 1), and Yon 21, 22 and 23 (from Group 2).
Group 1 Para Commando ("GRUP 1 PARA KOMANDO") is a unit of Brigade level which is part of the Army Special Forces Command and was established on 23 March 1963. The group was first commanded by Major L.B. Moerdani. The unit's motto known as Dhuaja is Eka Wastu Baladhika, then created by Corporal Suyanto. It has a total of 3,274 personnel. The unit's internal organization consists of the group headquarters and four battalions which are:
Each battalion consists of 3 companies. Each company is broken into 3 platoons, each of which consisted of 39 people. And each platoon consists of 3 small units called a squad of 10 men. The 1st Group, with its 4 battalions, is the largest brigade of the Kopassus.
Group 2 Para Commando ("GRUP 2 PARA KOMANDO") is a unit of Brigade level, which is part of the Special Forces Command of the Army and was established in 1962. The group was first commanded by Major Soegiarto. The unit's motto is Dwi Dharma Bhirawa Yudha and has a total of 1.459 personnel. The unit's internal organization are as follows:
Like "Group 1", "Group 2" has the main tasks and responsibilities for missions such as Airborne assault, Jungle warfare, Unconventional Warfare, Counter-Insurgency, Special Reconnaissance, and Direct Action.
The Special Forces Training and Education Center or SFTEC (Pusat Pendidikan dan Latihan Pasukan Khusus) abbreviated "Pusdiklatpassus" is the training and education center for recruits and personnel associated with and becoming to join as Commandos in the Army Special Forces Command (Kopassus). As an educational institution, "Pusdiklatpassus" is divided based on its training function. Supervises nine schools of education and training including:
It provides other specialist courses, which are also open to members of the Army out of Kopassus such as: Hunting Company, Scuba, Rock-climbing, Demolition, Path-Finder and Sniper.
The Commando education and training lasts for approximately seven months (28 weeks) which is divided into three stages. The first phase of the implementation of the education is conducted on the base for 18 weeks, the second stage all participants will be released in the forest and the mountains twice each for 6 weeks, and the next stage of the third stage ends with a 4-week sea-swamp stage. The 97th batch of the Commando Education had first initial participants as many as 251 personnel, who successfully passed through commando education and inaugurated as a special forces commando of 214 personnel. Phases are as shown below:
10 Weeks with individual ability points in Batujajar. Establish attitudes & personality, fill in technical skills, Command Operation tactics, Individual & basic capabilities of urban battle, Support knowledge, Field managerial, and individual ability test.
6 Weeks with Counter Insurgency emphasis, Jungle warfare and Raid warfare in Situ Lembang. Stabilization of forest observations, individual abilities in the forest / Basic battle techniques, forest capabilities in group relations, forest HTF, and durability of long march application (LRRP).
4 Weeks with heavy Commando operation tactics, sea battle tactics in Cilacap and Nusakambangan. Conservation observation of Sea-swamp, patrol ability, swamp terrain knowledge and Resistance to Interrogation test.
"Kopassus" has graduated students from the Commando Education (Dikko) up to 100 batches. In the year 2016 followed by 153 commando students, which consists of ranks of 41 Officers, 101 NCOs, and 11 Enlisted. The command officers who successfully complete the 7-month Command Course well are entitled to wear the qualified commando brevet issued to their clothing/uniform.
Aside from Kopassus commandos, the SFTEC also trains SF-ready combat personnel of the Army Raider Infantry battalions within the structure of the territorial region commands or KODAMs Army-wide and within Kostrad compotent units.
Group 4 / Sandhi Yudha is a Kopassus unit that has the specification of "Clandestine operation" 'secret warfare', including combat Intel and counter-insurgency. Group 4 was formed on 24 July 1967, headquartered at Cijantung Kopassus Headquarters, East Jakarta. Prospective Personnel in this Group are strictly selected internally ranging from prospective soldiers who are still educated to personnel who have active duty in unity but have an intelligence talent that will then be trained again. The motto of this unit is "Chatur Kottaman Wira Naraca Byuha". The Group is organized as follows:
The basic training is the same as other Kopassus soldiers (2.5 months), Command School (7 months) plus other courses such as PH (Jungle Warfare), PJD (Close Combat), Spursus (Special combat school )and Dakibu (Climber,) but after that the candidates of combat-intelligence is educated more specifically for the education of "Sandhi Yudha" in "Pusdiklatassus" located in Batujajar whose education materials are intelligence and supporting knowledge for intelligence in the field of operation such as disguise, navigation, special martial, Special tools of intelligence and others. Even some selected personnel from this Group are sent abroad to schools of Military Intelligence Education Centers such as in the United States, Germany, Britain and even Israel. Among all types of soldiers in "Kopassus", the most specific form of education and training is the Group 4 / Sandhi Yudha combat intelligence unit.
Unit 81 / Counter Terror or abbreviated as Sat-81 / Gultor is a unit in Kopassus which is equivalent to a group level formation and is composed of the best chosen personnel within the whole of the Indonesian Army special forces. The strength of this unit is not publicly publicized on the number of personnel or types of weapons. The Sat 81 gultor is incorporated in the BNPT Crisis Control Center ("Pusdalsis") which consists of a combination of special units, such as the Denjaka from the Indonesian Navy, the Bravo Detachment 90 of the Indonesian Air Force, and the 1st Gegana Command of the Brimob Corps, Indonesian National Police. "Pusdalsis" is organized of a combination of elite units within the Indonesian National Armed Forces and Police which is assigned as a counter-terrorist formation to be sent when the activities of terrorism may be conducted such as aircraft hijacking. Special Battalions under this unit are:
Recruitment is done by choosing from members which at least have 2 years of active service in the groups of the Kopassus organization, and must complete 6 months of Counter Terrorism Selection and Reinforcement Training before entering the Unit.
Kopassus participates in bilateral training exercises with international partners. After resuming military ties in 2003, Australia's special operations unit, the Special Air Service Regiment, conducts an annual counter terrorism exercise, with Australia and Indonesia taking turns to host the event.
In July 2011, Kopassus and Chinese special forces held a joint counter terrorism exercise called Exercise Sharp Knife, held in Bandung, Java. In 2012, the same exercise was held in Jinan, Shandong province, in July.
Former Secretary of Defense Ryamizard Ryacudu and Acting Secretary of the Defense Secretary of the United States or Acting Secretary of Defense of the US, H.E.Patrick M. Shanahan. agreed to conduct joint combat medic training between United States special forces and Kopassuss unit 81 in 2020
According to Indonesian sources, a group of Kopassus officers recently quietly engaged in the first full-on combat training at the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, since a 15-year East Timor-related military embargo was lifted in 2005.
The Kopassus (then RPKAD) red beret was first used in 1954-1968 and was designed by Lieutenant Dodo Sukamto. It was first used during a ceremony on 5 October 1954. This emblem consists of a bayonet, anchors representing abilities in the sea and wings as high mobility. The beret emblem used in 1968 until now with slight changes from the initial design, the bayonet is more slender than the Commando knife and the wingspan is more wing coat like the Wing of the Army designs. The iconic Kopassus Camouflage pattern called Loreng Darah Mengalir (Flowing Blood pattern), introduced in 1964 pattern was originally intended to be a copy of the WW2 era British Denison brushstroke camouflage for issue to the RPKAD. However, an error at the original manufacturing plant resulted in the vertical, vine-like stripes that characterize this unique pattern.The original version illustrated, with some variation in color and type of fabric, saw service between 1964 and 1986 (at which time the entire Armed Forces were outfitted in a copy of British DPM). The second pattern shown was revived for issue to Kopassus in 1995 but in a slightly varied design, worn for ceremonial & training purposes only. For other purpose regular TNI patern (DPM) was used instead.
The Commando qualification brevet used since 1966 until now was designed by Major Djajadiningrat. This brevet is used by all graduates of Commando training and Education from Batujajar. Colonel Sarwo Edhie Wibowo in a demonstration of "Show Of Force" at Senayan's parking lot on 4 January 1966 used the new Commando Brevet qualification to show the public of the Corps' new appearance.
Jump Master Wings are issued to commandos of Kopassus who have graduated from advanced paratrooper jump master courses conducted by the Commando training and educational center.
The Kopassus (RPKAD) military freefall wing insignia, designed by HH.Djajadiningrat and first issued in 1962 depicts a free fall paratrooper hanging under a circle consisting of small parachutes. Stated by the first free fall instructors of the Yugoslavia: Mladen Milicetic, Stoyan Jovic and Dobel Stanej in Bandung during the first free fall graduation ceremony of Kopassus (RPKAD) on 26 October 1962.
List of assassinations known to have been carried out by Kopassus:
List of militia or proxy force known trained by kopassus:
Kopassus has been accused by NGOs, Western politicians, and researchers of human rights violations.Amnesty International and Indonesian human rights groups including the official National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) have cited abuses by members of Kopassus.
In 1975, five Australian journalists, known as the Balibo Five, were killed by members of Kopassus in the town of Balibo during the Indonesian invasion of East Timor. The Indonesian military has always maintained that the men were killed in a cross-fire during the battle for the town.
Arnold Ap was a West Papuan cultural leader, anthropologist and musician. Arnold was the leader of the group Mambesak, and Curator of the Cenderawasih University Museum. In November 1983, he was arrested by Kopassus and imprisoned and tortured for suspected sympathies with the Free Papua Movement, although no charges were laid. In April 1984, he was killed by a gunshot to his back. Official accounts claim he was trying to escape. Many supporters believe Ap was executed by Kopassus. Another musician, Eddie Mofu, was also killed.
During the May 1998 riots of Indonesia, Kopassus members were involved in organising and carrying out acts of murder and violence against Chinese Indonesians. This included involvement in mass gang-rapes of Sino-Indonesian women and girls across Jakarta. Kopassus has also been considered responsible for the 1997-98 activists kidnappings in Indonesia. According to the Federation of American Scientists, a number of activists were kidnapped by KOPASSUS troops in the last months of the Suharto regime, and at least 23 government critics disappeared.
In 2001, four Kopassus members were convicted of the strangulation of Theys Eluay, the former chairman of the Papua Presidium Council. They were part of a group which had killed Theys after ambushing him and his driver. The group's leader, Lt-Col Hatono, and another soldier received prison sentences of three and a half years while two others received three years. A further two officers had their charges dismissed. The men were all Kopassus members from Group V (Jakarta) and were not based in Jayapura or West Papua. They faced a court-martial, which found them not guilty on the more serious charges of premeditated murder, because the Kopassus are legally exempt from the jurisdiction of civil law. Indonesian Army Chief, General Ryamizard Ryacudu (2002-05), accepted the men had to be prosecuted "because Indonesia is a State based on law" but he affirmed their defence's view that they were heroes who had killed a rebel leader.
In 2002 kopassus accused killed three teachers (two of whom were American and one Indonesian) and wounded 12 others in an ambush near the Freeport mine.For this, the US Congress extended its existing ban on contact with the Indonesian military.There is also suspicion that the attack was aimed at blackmailing mine owners into paying protection money. From 2000 to 2002, Freeport McMoRan paid the TNI $10.7 million in protection money, but the company shut down the payments shortly before the ambush.
Yustinus Murib was a West Papuan rebel who was the leader of the Free Papua Movement, a separatist group that since the 1960s has been fighting for independence from Indonesia. Shortly before being killed Murib sent letters to a few different world leaders and the UN, calling for an independent nation to be a mediator between Megawati Sukarnoputri and the West Papua Movement. He and leaders of the separatist movement had called for peace talks with Jakarta, but on November 6, 2003 Kopassus troops killed him and nine of his men. The Indonesian Army displayed his corpse as a trophy.
Some international partners have severed military ties with Kopassus in response to allegations of human rights abuses. For example, Australia ceased training with Kopassus in 1999 in relation to Kopassus' role in violence in East Timor.
In 25 September 2020 President"Jokowi" Widodo has appointed six military officers to strategic posts within the Defense Ministry, including two former members of the infamous Tim Mawar (Rose Team) of the Army's Special Forces Kopassus, which was implicated in the notorious forced disappearances of activists in the late 1990s.
In September 2015, General Mulyono, the Army chief of staff, stated that "There are still soldiers from the Indonesian Army who taint the name of their force and the Army with their arrogant and selfish attitudes by engaging in misdeeds or even acting against the law", which according to the Jakarta Globe newspaper was a reference to actions by Kopassus members. Examples include: