PENANG ABUZZ OVER SIGHTING OF CHINOOK
It’s part of joint US army-Malaysia police training programme
THE presence of a Chinook helicopter, a mainstay of the United States military operations since the Vietnam War, off the Penang Bridge on Tuesday, has raised concerns and drawn people’s interest.
Netizens have taken to Facebook to upload photos of the lowflying helicopter off Pulau Gazumbo, a tiny island with sandy beach, just next to the bridge.
Penang police have assured that all is well, adding that the presence of the military assets were part of a joint training programme between the Royal Malaysia Police’s 69 Komando Unit and the United States Army.
State police chief Datuk Chuah Ghee Lye said the Mint 17-2453 Balance Training at Batu Uban marine base here, from Feb 26 to March 18, involved 45 officers and personnel from the 69 Komando Unit, and 12 officers and personnel from the United States Army.
He said among the areas involved in the training were the marine base and the surrounding waters off Penang.
“This joint training is to expose and strenghten the 69 Komando Unit to face any possible threat.
“During the training, Penang police will ensure public safety and smooth sailing traffic at the training sites,” he said.
Chuah said since the training was held in Penang waters, there would be numerous deployment of aerial military assets from both countries.
Netizen Fatimah Jahan said: “It’s amazing how those giant rotors do not collide with one another. That’s what I call the marvel of human engineering.”
Another netizen, Nazarul Akmal, said: Petang kelmarin saya nampak helikopter ni terbang rendah jee... dekat jeti Butterworth.. teringin nak naik.”
(I saw the helicopter flying low near the Butterworth jetty on Tuesday. I feel like going on one.)
Yet another netizen, Mohd Iskandar, said: Selama ni dpt tgk yg dah kena tembak jatuh kat Vietnam saja.
(All this while, I only managed to see those shot down in Vietnam.)
A United States Army Chinook helicopter flying over the Penang bridge yesterday.