Kopaska or Komando Pasukan Katak is the premier frogman
A frogman is someone who is trained to scuba diving or swim underwater in a military capacity which can include combat. Such personnel are also known by the more formal names of combat diver or combatant diver or combat swimmer....

 and underwater demolition unit
Underwater demolition
Underwater demolition refers to the deliberate destruction or neutralization of man-made or natural underwater obstacles, both for military and civilian purposes.-John G. Foster:...

 of the Indonesian Navy
Indonesian Navy
The role of the Indonesian Navy is to patrol of Indonesia's immense coastline, to ensure safeguard the territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone , to protect Indonesia's maritime strategic interests, to protect the islands surrounded Indonesia and to defend against seaborne threats. The TNI...

. The Unit's motto is 'Tan Hana Wighna Tan Sirna', which means 'There is no obstacle that can not be defeated'. It was officially established on March 31, 1962 by President Sukarno to help his campaign in Western New Guinea
Western New Guinea
West Papua informally refers to the Indonesian western half of the island of New Guinea and other smaller islands to its west. The region is officially administered as two provinces: Papua and West Papua. The eastern half of New Guinea is Papua New Guinea.The population of approximately 3 million...

. This special operations force
Special operations
Special operations are military operations that are considered "special" .Special operations are typically performed independently or in conjunction with conventional military operations. The primary goal is to achieve a political or military objective where a conventional force requirement does...

 already existed long before March 31, 1962. In 1954, the founder of Kopaska was Captain (Navy) Iskak from the Navy Frogman School at Naval Base Surabaya. The Unit's main duties are underwater demolition, (which consists of raiding enemy's ships and bases), destroying main underwater installations, reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

, prisoner snatches, preparing beaches for larger naval amphibious operations, and counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

. In peace time the unit deploys a 7-man team to serve as security personnel for VIPs. Primary among these duties are the escort and personal security of the Indonesian president
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

 and vice president
Vice president
A vice president is an officer in government or business who is below a president in rank. The name comes from the Latin vice meaning 'in place of'. In some countries, the vice president is called the deputy president...



KOPASKA was influenced by the early U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team
Underwater Demolition Team
The Underwater Demolition Teams were an elite special-purpose force established by the United States Navy during World War II. They also served during the Korean War and the Vietnam War...

s (UDT) and modern Navy SEAL Teams.
This foundation of Kopaska was established when early KOPASKA members (Captain-Navy Urip Santoso, Lieutenant-Navy Joko Suyatno, Sergeant EMP Joseph) were sent to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 for training with the UDTs
UDTS may mean:* Union Démocratique des Travailleurs de Sénégal, the Democratic Union of Senegalese Workers* Uppsala-DLR Trojan Survey* University of Dubuque Theological Seminary...

. Additionally, the Indonesian Navy also sent personnel to Russia to learn from Russian Navy Combat Divers. This tradition continues as each year a few men from the unit travel to Coronado
Coronado, California
Coronado, also known as Coronado Island, is an affluent resort city located in San Diego County, California, 5.2 miles from downtown San Diego. Its population was 24,697 at the 2010 census, up from 24,100 at the 2000 census. U.S. News and World Report lists Coronado as one of the most expensive...

, California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 and Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

 to participate in SEAL training. Returning to Indonesia, their duties are to recruit new personnel for Kopaska. Early recruitment was difficult as only few Navy members could pass the Kopaska qualifications process. This difficulty increased when President Sukarno announced the Trikora Campaign in Western New Guinea (the Netherlands New Guinea), as Kopaska were required to conduct beach reconnaissance, beach clearing, prisoner snatches, and human torpedo
Human torpedo
Human torpedoes or manned torpedoes are a type of rideable submarine used as secret naval weapons in World War II. The basic design is still in use today; they are a type of diver propulsion vehicle....

 missions. These last two missions were the most daring planned by Kopaska; the intended prisoner target was Rear Admiral Reeser, Commander in Chief of the Dutch Armed Forces in the Territory, and for the human torpedo their target was the Aircraft Carrier Karel Doorman
HNLMS Karel Doorman (R81)
HNLMS Karel Doorman was a Colossus-class aircraft carrier of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The ship was the British HMS Venerable before she was sold in 1948 to the Netherlands as a light attack carrier. In 1960 she was involved in the decolonization conflict in Western New Guinea with Indonesia...

. Due to lack of personnel Kopaska had to borrow personnel from Army Special Force
Kopassus is an Indonesian Army special forces group that conducts special operations missions for the Indonesian government, such as direct action, unconventional warfare, sabotage, counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, and intelligence gathering.Kopassus was founded on April 16, 1952...

 ( RPKAD - now Kopassus / Colonel Sarwo Edhie Wibowo
Sarwo Edhie Wibowo
Sarwo Edhie Wibowo was one of Indonesia's most famous Generals.-Early life:Sarwo Edhie was born in Purworejo, Central Java to a family of civil servants working for the Dutch Colonial Government. As a child, he learned silat as a form of self-defense...

 and 21 of RPKAD) and 3 from Kodam Jaya/Army (three of them became Navy soldiers/Kopaska after the Trikora campaign and attended seaman school in Naval Training Command/Kodikal, they are Maksum, Alex Sunaryo, and Budi Suroyo). The plans were canceled as part of the implementation of the cease-fire between Indonesia and the Netherlands. After the Trikora campaign, 18 of 21 RPKAD still desired to become a Navy soldier. Their willingness was not realized as the Commander of RPKAD (Maj. Gen. Mung Pahardimulyo) didn't approve it. He did accommodate the ex-Kopaska members by making a new special unit in RPKAD called RPKAD Frogman (now Paska Gultor, in batalyon SAT 81-2 Gultor Kopassus Cijantung). Until now, Kopassus always send the best members to be trained for three months in Frogman Navy School/Sepaskal at Special Training Centre/Pusdiksus, Naval Training Command/Kodikal Moro Krembangan, Surabaya, East Java.


Recruitment process in Kopaska is almost similar to US Navy SEALs. The criteria consists of:
  1. All personnel who wish to join the Kopaska unit are required to be members of the navy corps, as involvement of other corps is not allowed (this includes the marine corps)
  2. All personnel must be younger than 30 years old
  3. Recruitment process is held once a year at all naval bases, so all navy personnel from all over Indonesia have the opportunity to join Kopaska. After fulfilling these criteria, the candidate is brought to Kopaska Training Centre to participate in the selection process. From previous experience, out of 300-1500 candidates, only 15 to 20 actually succeeded in completing the initial selection process. Subsequently, those who passed received advanced training at Kopaska training centre, according to www.specialoperations.com. Finally, on passing training, a candidate then graduated to become a member of Kopaska Unit. Of the initial candidates, only 5-6 people will get to this stage.


The training process lasts nine months. This training is divided into 4 continual training phases. First Phase is physical endurance or physical training. The second phase is Basic under water training. The third phase is commando training and the fourth phase is parachute training.

First phase

First phase training is physical training or endurance training. To cope with this phase each candidate receives a daily physical training program, e.g.: running, marching, push-ups, sit ups, pull-ups, swimming, etc. All of these training programs are unscheduled, meaning it could happen any time the instructor orders it. The last week of this training each candidate should be able to show their strength, such as cross strait swimming, rowing to Laki Island at night with little food and without enough sleep, etc. This training usually exploits the candidate's physical and psychology strength.
The remaining training phases are somewhat similarly received by Indonesia special communities, including Combat swimming, Infiltration through submarine torpedo tube, Long range combat patrol, Close quarter battle (CQB or CQC), Infiltration by using CRRC or RIB, Intelligence course, Parachute training, (which consists of combat free-fall, static line, HAHO, and HALo), Pathfinder, Survival, etc.

Weaponry and equipment

Since most of Kopaska duties are in salt and moist environments, most of Kopaska weapons and equipment reflect these conditions.
The type of equipment and weapons used by Kopaska are common in Indonesia and world special force societies, such as:
  • Pistol
    When distinguished as a subset of handguns, a pistol is a handgun with a chamber that is integral with the barrel, as opposed to a revolver, wherein the chamber is separate from the barrel as a revolving cylinder. Typically, pistols have an effective range of about 100 feet.-History:The pistol...

    s: Beretta 92
    Beretta 92
    The Beretta 92 is a series of semi-automatic pistols designed and manufactured by Beretta of Italy. The model 92 was designed in 1972 and production of many variants in different calibers continues today...

    , Browning Hi-Power
    Browning Hi-Power
    The Browning Hi-Power is a single-action, 9 mm semi-automatic handgun. It is based on a design by American firearms inventor John Browning, and completed by Dieudonné Saive at Fabrique Nationale of Herstal, Belgium. Browning died in 1926, several years before the design was finalized...

    , FN Five-Seven, Pindad made P1/P2, Sig Sauer P226
    SIG P226
    The SIG P226 is a full-sized, service-type pistol made by SIG Sauer. It is chambered for the 9×19mm Parabellum, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, and .22 Long Rifle. It is essentially the same basic design of the SIG P220, but developed to use higher capacity, staggered-column magazines in place of the...

    , Glock 17, Glock 19, H&K USP
  • Submachineguns: FN P90
    FN P90
    The FN P90 is a selective fire personal defense weapon designed and manufactured by FN Herstal in Belgium. The P90's name is taken from 1990, the year it was introduced...

    , H&K MP5
    Heckler & Koch MP5
    The Heckler & Koch MP5 is a 9mm submachine gun of German design, developed in the 1960s by a team of engineers from the German small arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH of Oberndorf am Neckar....

     variants, Micro Uzi, Daewoo K7
    Daewoo K7
    The Daewoo Precision Industries K7 was announced in 2003 as a 9 mm silenced submachine gun for use with the South-Korean special forces. It is based on the K1A infantry rifle, from which the receiver and telescopic buttstock was copied...

  • Assault rifle
    Assault rifle
    An assault rifle is a selective fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles are the standard infantry weapons in most modern armies...

    s: AK-47
    The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is officially known as Avtomat Kalashnikova . It is also known as a Kalashnikov, an "AK", or in Russian slang, Kalash.Design work on the AK-47 began in the last year...

    , AK-103
    The AK-103 is a modern, Russian-designed version of the famous AKM assault rifle, chambered for the 7.62×39mm M43 round. It combines the AKM design with developments from the AK-74 and AK-74M, with the use of plastics to replace metal or wooden components wherever possible to reduce overall weight...

     & AK-104
    The AK-104 is a shortened carbine version of the AK-103 rifle. The AK-102, AK-105, and AK-104 are very similar in design, the only difference being the caliber and corresponding magazine type...

    , Norinco Type 56-2 & QBZ-95C
    Type 56 Assault Rifle
    The Type 56 assault rifle is a Chinese copy of the Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle, which has been manufactured since 1956. It was produced by State Factory 66 from 1956-73, then by Norinco from 1973 onwards.-Service history:...

    , Colt M4A1
    M4 carbine
    The M4 carbine is a family of firearms tracing its lineage back to earlier carbine versions of the M16, all based on the original AR-15 designed by Eugene Stoner and made by ArmaLite. It is a shorter and lighter variant of the M16A2 assault rifle, with 80% parts commonality.It is a gas-operated,...

     Carbines (with Aimpoint & Trijicon scopes), Colt M16A2
    M16 rifle
    The M16 is the United States military designation for the AR-15 rifle adapted for both semi-automatic and full-automatic fire. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from ArmaLite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 fires the 5.56×45mm NATO...

     assault rifle (M16A2 is limited), Pindad SS1-V1,V2,V4, Pindad SS2-V1
    Pindad SS2
    The SS2 is an updated version of the Pindad SS1 created by PT Pindad, under license from Fabrique Nationale...

    , SIG SG 552
    SIG SG 550
    The SG 550 is an assault rifle manufactured by Swiss Arms AG of Neuhausen, Switzerland...

    , SIG SG 551 SwAT
    SIG SG 550
    The SG 550 is an assault rifle manufactured by Swiss Arms AG of Neuhausen, Switzerland...

    , IMI Galil ARM 7.62mm, Micro Galil
    IMI Galil
    The Galil is a family of Israeli small arms designed by Yisrael Galil and Yaacov Lior in the late 1960s and produced by Israel Military Industries Ltd of Ramat HaSharon...

    , CZ-58, SAR 21, HK416
  • Sniper rifle
    Sniper rifle
    In military and law enforcement terminology, a sniper rifle is a precision-rifle used to ensure more accurate placement of bullets at longer ranges than other small arms. A typical sniper rifle is built for optimal levels of accuracy, fitted with a telescopic sight and chambered for a military...

    s: H&K G3SG
    Heckler & Koch G3
    The G3 is a 7.62mm battle rifle developed in the 1950s by the German armament manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH in collaboration with the Spanish state-owned design and development agency CETME ....

     sniper rifle, Sig 550 Sniper rifle, Steyr-Mannlicher SSG 69
    Steyr SSG 69
    The SSG 69 is a bolt-action sniper rifle produced by Steyr Mannlicher and serves as the standard sniper rifle for the Austrian Army....

    , Galatz Sniper Rifle, AW L96, NTW
    Denel NTW-20
    The NTW-20 is a South African anti-materiel rifle or large-calibre sniper rifle, developed by Denel's Mechem division in the 1990s. The weapon was designed by Tony Neophytou and intended for deployment against a wide variety of targets, including parked aircraft, telecommunication masts, power...

  • Machineguns: Daewoo K3
    Daewoo K3
    The Daewoo Precision Industries K3 was the third indigenous firearm developed in South Korea, following the K1A and K2. The K3 is inspired by the FN Minimi and the United States-issued M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. It is manufactured by S&T Daewoo.-Description:...

    , FN Minimi
    FN Minimi
    The Minimi is a Belgian 5.56mm light machine gun developed by Fabrique Nationale in Herstal by Ernest Vervier. First introduced in 1974, it has entered service with the armed forces of over thirty countries...

    , FN MAG
    FN MAG
    The FN MAG is a Belgian 7.62 mm general-purpose machine gun, designed in the early 1950s at Fabrique Nationale by Ernest Vervier. It has been used by more than 80 countries, and it has been made under licence in countries such as Argentina, Egypt, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the...

    , Ultimax 100
    Ultimax 100
    The Ultimax 100 is a Singaporean 5.56mm light machine gun, developed by the Chartered Industries of Singapore by a team of engineers under the guidance of American firearms designer L. James Sullivan. The gun is extremely accurate due to its low recoil.Work on a new light support weapon for the...

For equipment, Kopaska basically uses commercial scuba diver equipment. All personnel are also equipped with lightweight PRO-TEC helmets. For aqualung equipment Kopaska uses close circuit and open circuit, for underwater mobility Kopaska use a scooter, or sometimes they use sub-skimmer craft. On the water they usually use Avon Sea Raider Rigid Inflatable Boat or Hull (But Sea Raider by deflating the hull also can be use as sub-skimmer craft).

Trikora campaign

In this campaign, they were ordered to be human torpedoes just like the Japanese 'kamikaze.' Their Kamikaze strike craft was a boat installed with one MiG-17 "Fresco" ejection seat, powered by a pair of Johnson 100pk and armed with two torpedoes warheads. Known as Project Y within KOPASKA circles, this project was supervised by Major (Navy) Urip Santoso, one of the founders of KOPASKA.

Currently, unit strength is approximately 300 men, divided into two groups. One group is attached to the western fleet, based in Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

, and the other group is attached to the eastern fleet, based in Surabaya
Surabaya is Indonesia's second-largest city with a population of over 2.7 million , and the capital of the province of East Java...

, East Java. When called for, they conduct support search and rescue
Search and rescue
Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, mostly based upon terrain considerations...

duties, albeit to a limited extent. They have been deployed overseas as part of United Nations peace keeping missions.
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