The Grup Gerak Khas is a brigade sized formation that acts as the command element which coordinates and deploys the 3 special forces battalions of the Malaysian Army. They conduct special operations missions for the Malaysian government, such as direct action, unconventional warfare, sabotage, counter-terrorism, and intelligence gathering. It is the administrative and operational group to which the 3 regiments of the Rejimen Gerak Khas and its supporting units are subordinated.
21 Gerup Gerak Khas is commanded by a Brigadier General and is currently located at Iskandar Camp, in Mersing, Johor. 21 Gerup Gerak Khas comprises commandos highly trained in special warfare and able to conduct unconventional warfare in any of its forms – Guerrilla/Anti-Guerrilla Warfare, escape and evasion, Subversion, Sabotage, Counter Terrorism, Asymmetric warfare and their most highly regarded expertise – Jungle Warfare.
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The UK Special Forces including the Special Air Service and the Royal Marines 40 Commando made a significant impact while assisting the Malaysian Armed Forces during the Indonesian Confrontation. British, Australian and New Zealand Special Air Service troops made daring cross-border deterrence Claret missions. Royal Marine Commandos help put down the rebellion in Brunei. The experience of such units convinced the Malaysian Minister of Defence of the usefulness of such special forces and he directed the formation of such units within the Malaysian Army.
The Special Forces Directorate was established in the Ministry of Defense, late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein on 1960s to coordinate the operations of the special forces regiments. This unit is partly based on by the 40th Royal Marines Commandos and was then called Malaysian Special Service Unit. In January 1981, Markas Grup Gerak Khas was established in Imphal Camp, Kuala Lumpur to act as the Brigade Headquarters for the 3 special forces regiments. The headquarters group would also include combat support units and service support units.
Gerup Gerak Khas was renamed 21 Gerup Gerak Khas which formalises the formation as the 21st brigade group in the Malaysian Army.
21 Gerup Gerak Khas (GGK) Headquarters
21 Gerup Gerak Khas is the operational command structure that coordinates and integrates the activities of the 3 regiments of the Malaysian Army’s Rejimen Gerak Khas. Attached to this command structure are Signals, Engineers and other support arms units.
Counter Terrorism Regiment or 11th Regiment Gerak Khas
The 11 Rejimen Gerak Khas (11th Special Force Regiments) is called the Special Service Regiment as it specialises in the more refined special forces arts of sabotage, HRT, SBS, CRW etc. This regiment is smaller compared to 21st and 22nd Commando, and is organised into 4 Sabre Squadrons. Only those who have served no less than 8 years in the Commando Regiments are eligible for selection.
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21st and 22nd Commando are the two commando regiments of 21st Grup Gerak Khas, configured for commando operations and forced entry assaults. There are approximately 1, 800 men in the 2 commando regiments. The 2 regiments specialises in Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol, Sabotage, Covert Operations, Airborne assault, Amphibious Assault and other commando operations. They closely resemble the Royal Marines Commando, and each regiment has specialised squadrons such as the special boat squadron and mobility squadron.
Special Forces Directorate
The Special Forces Directorate is a small group of around 20 personnel, tasked with planning and coordination of resources and equipment of Gerup Gerak Khas. The directorate also provides assistance during operational deployment of Gerup Gerak Khas units and formulate policy guidelines. The Cell also undertakes Planning and Intelligence tasks as well as Operational Research Section