PENANG ABUZZ OVER SIGHTING OF CHINOOK

It’s part of joint US army-Malaysia po­lice train­ing pro­gramme

New Straits Times - - News - AUDREY DERMAWAN GEORGE TOWN au­dreymd@nst.com.my

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.)

PIC BY SHAHNAZ FAZLIE SHAHRIZAL

A United States Army Chinook heli­copter fly­ing over the Penang bridge yes­ter­day.

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