Report to RMAF Kuantan
Immediately after my one week marriage leave I reported to RMAF Kuantan to hold the appointment of 'Ketua Skn Pergerakan Udara. You know how i went to Kuantan?
I rode my 'Suzuki Cup 80' from Batu Pahat to the Base, via Segamat and Tun Razak Highway (from Segamat to Gambang). I couldn't remember how many hours i took to reach Kuantan. What I could remember is i moved from my wife's house before lunch time and arrived Officers' Mess RMAF Kuantan about 1900H. Before report to the mess, I dropped for Maghrib at Base Masjid (picture below)
Awarded one week extra-duty officer by my then OC Supply (Mej Nik Hishamuddin) because I reported 2 day late. He did not accept my 'telegram' requesting 3 day leave. As a junior officer, I just follow the order. My 2 and half year 'challenging tenure' in RMAF Kuching gave enough experience to face all the challenges.
As I was a 2nd Lt at that time, I got to follow the mess regulation to attend the mess orientation. However the treatment was not as tough as my 'ragging' in Kuching. In fact, I knew some of the seniors officers in Kuantan. Either my former seniors in Kuching or I met them in Kinrara. Only 2-3 squadron pilot who did not know me trying to be funny. So, just take it.
For the first month, my life still in a 'mess', I stayed in the mess. I left Adibah at Batu Pahat. After working hours, I biked around, looking for a house to rent. At that time, the most popular place for the RMAF personnel was Taman TAS (about 3km from the base). Finally, I found one at No 59, Jalan TAS 38, a terrace house and the rental was about RM200. The housing allowance for 2nd Lt at that time was RM370/month. The official occupying date was 1 Nov 1983.
My neighbours; on our right was a Chinese couple (I forgot their name) and FSjn Kamarudin (MTSS Kuantan) and his wife Kak Jan. On the left was Kapt Mues and Kak Nah (Aminah). They have a daughter Muslina (Lina) and a son Hasfanizam (Izam). Kak Nah was more closer to us. In fact she help us a lot when Adibah delivered our first baby, Hafeez and followed by Fazeera. (I heard they had moved to Taman Guru, Kuantan).
Kuantan Air Base (formerly known as RMAF Kuantan) is located at 10th Miles (16km), Jalan Gambang (a main road from Kuantan to KL - via Maran, Temerloh and Karak). No LPT highway at that time. The base opened on 24 June 1968. The base is divided into two part by the Kuantan Airport (now known as Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ahmad Shah). In 1983 there were 4 operational squadrons based in Kuantan, No 4 Skn (Maritime), No 10 Sqn (Nuri), No 6 Sqn (Skyhawk), and No 9 Sqn (Skyhawk). Another flying units located here were No 3 Flying Training Centre (PULATIBANG 3) and Light Attack Sqn (PC7). Other units were SEKTUB and PPU3 (ADC3). But later, (1984/85) No 10 Sqn moved to KL Base and No 4 Sqn moved to the newly opened base in Subang.
At that time, Kuantan was the busiest base in the RMAF because of the inception of new fighter squadrons ie. Skyhawks and Aermacchi.
The senior officers in RMAF Kuantan that I could remember were:
- Kol Nawi bin Alias TUDM - Base CO (retired as Lt Jen Dato') - he was succeeded by Kol Hussein bin Supian TUDM (retired Brig jen Dato') in 1985.
- Lt Kol Abdul Malek Shahar bin Harun TUDM - OC Flying (he retired a Mej Jen Dato') -later succeeded by Lt Kol Longchik bin Ayub TUDM (retired as Kol).
- Lt Kol Abd Hamid bin Abdullah TUDM -Senior Engineering Officer (retired as Kol - now with AIROD - Dato') later replaced by Lt Kol Yusof Abd Kadir (retired)- later he was my PS1 Latih in 1992.
- Lt Kol Ridzuan bin Mohd Salleh TUDM -OC 6 Sqn (retired as Kol)
- Lt Kol Chan Poh Sum UDM-OC 4 Sqn (retired)
- Lt Kol Mustapha Zakaria UDM @ Pedro -OC 10 Sqn (retired)
- Lt Kol Nik Ismail bin Nik Mohamed (OC 9 Sqn) - later bacame PTU (retired as Jen Tan Sri).
- Lt Kol Abdul Aziz Iskandar TUDM -Commandant 3 FTC (retired)
- Mej Nik Hishamuddin bin Ibrahim TUDM - OC Supply (retired)
- Mej Sanusi bin Ahmad TUDM - OC Admin (retired as Brig Gen Dato) - later replaced by Mej Ibrahim Deraman (retired)
- Mej Quek Swee Chye TUDM - SATCO (retired Lt Kol) - he was my neighbour in OMQ.
- Mej Ismail bin Samion TUDM-OC JUKAT (retired Lt Jen Dato -his last appointment was Vice Chancellor UPNM) ..........and many many more officers.
In 1994, Skyhawk aircraft were phased out and replaced by Hawk 108/208 in No 6 and No 9 Sqn. New units established after my tour in Kuantan were MATRA 4, SOC 2 (or 320 Skn) and TRF. Those units were established to compliment the development of the RMAF fleet.
Upon reporting to the Squadron, I was assigned to hold the appointment of OC Domestic Sqn (serupa macam jaga Stor laaaaa). Looking after barrack, stationery and clothing stores. My staff that I could remember were Sgt Adnan, Kpl Subramaniam, LU Azman, LU Sabudi and Civ Ghazali (Barrack Store) and Civ Long and LU Rosminah at Clothing Store.
My OC was Mej Nik Hishamuddin bin Ibrahim, a Kelantanese. Very charismatic officer, knowledgeable in Supply subject, 'hensem' and very good command in English. . Other officers in Supply Branch were;
- Kapt Ee Ten Long TUDM (OC SCAF/2ic) - however he and the OC could not work together and both keep on blaming each other. When I had a private talk with OC, he always talked bad about ETL (E Sepuluh Panjang). He left as Kapt.
- Lt M Abdullah Khir bin Hj Saidi TUDM, OC Technical Sqn - retired Lt Kol in 2009 (last apponitment was KCM PU Gong Kedak). He once became a Asst DA in London (2001-2004)
- Lt M Romle bin Mat Piah TUDM, OC POL Sqn - retired Mejar and doing his own trading business.
- Lt M Jemaat bin Atan TUDM, OC Explosive - now Lt Kol
- Lt M Shamaun bin Yushak TUDM, MTO - left Mejar and joined PSCND Lumut (now Boustead) and last address is in Sitiawan.
- Lt M Zamri bin Talib - left Kapt. I never met him from the day I left Kuantan. No news about him.
Early 1986, Mej Nik posted out to MAFCA and succeeded by newly promoted Mej Azizan bin Shaari TUDM. He was my instructor in my Basic Supply Course in Kinrara before I got posted to Kuantan.
On 8 Oct 1984 I was attached to PULATIBANG 3 to perform the task of Logistic Officer there. I understood that my move was a request from Lt Kol Aziz Iskandar. He wanted to have his own Supply Officer because he got frustrated with the Base Supply in supporting his unit.
PULATIBANG 3 was established in 1982 with the inception of 12 Fighter Lead In Trainer MB339A aircraft purchased from Italy. These aircraft were used for conversion training for the pilot before going to operational fighter squadrons.
Initially, I was quite worry to work there, surrounded by 'fighter pilots' community. The Commandant, Lt Kol Aziz Iskandar @ Peter has his own special character. He looked like Mat Salleh, big, tall, tough, like to shout, straight forward and aggressive. His life was also mere to Mat Salleh. His wife's Kerry was an Aussie (she passed away of cancer). I was informed that Kerry was his third marriage. The first two wives were also Mat Salleh. After his retirement, he worked with UN. The last time I met his was sometime in 1987 or 1988 in 'mamakteria' ITM Shah Alam. I did my DBS and he came over to sit for his CIT exam. I heard, he is working in Geneva.
Aermacchi MB339A FLIT aircraft in PULATIBANG III
Among my squad (TJP37) who were in 3FTC (senior students) were Kamalruzaman (now Brig Jen Dato'), Khairil Asri (now Lt Col), Felix Golsalves (now Col- Commander AWC), Mohd Rahim Ismail (left as Kapt), Sanusi Samion (now Col). In 3FTC also I first met with Maj Gen Dato Ackbal (was only a Lt at that time) undergoing fighter conversion flying (junior students) in PULATIBANG 3.
Among the officers (instructors) I met in 3FTC were:
- Mej Rodzali bin Daud TUDM (now Jen Tan Sri -PTU)
- Mej Mohd Yusuf bin Isa TUDM (retired Lt Kol-now with Inisiatif Hati Sdn Bhd- dealing with fighter simulator training)
- Mej Shubli Ismail TUDM (he died in air crashed during aerobatic show in June, 1985)
- Mej Bhupinder Singh a/l Puran Singh TUDM (now Kol)
- Kapt Lim Swee Fong TUDM (left Mej)
- Mej Abas bin Salimon TUDM (retired)
- Mej Marsaleh bin Hassim TUDM (now Kol - DA in South Africa)
- Kapt Haidir bin Lebai Yakub TUDM (died at Batu Pahat Hospital in the 2nd Hari Raya 2009 in the rank of Kol- semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat ke atas rohnya)
- Kapt Ismail Ibrahim TUDM (now Mej Jen Dato - AKS PP Markas ATM)
- Kapt Ansar Ali a/l Majeth TUDM (now Brig Gen Dato)
- Kapt Ling Hong Kam TUDM(retired Lt Col and became a MAS pilot)
- Kapt Khaw Aik Hock TUDM (left Kapt)
- Kapt Kamaruzzaman bin Md Noor TUDM (he died in aircraft crashed with Shubli)
The good memory that very seldom for Supply Officer had the experience was, the opportunity to fly in the MB339 and PC7 aircraft. I was given a special treatment by my Commandant. If I need to go to KL for meeting or any official duty, he would task one of the instructor or senior students to send me by MB339 or PC7. Sometimes, he himself flew the aircraft.
In one ocassion, he invited me to fly to KL for a meeting. That morning I purposely came late (refused to go) because why???? I checked with Ops Room a day before and I was informed that he will fly TEBUAN. At that time only ONE Tebuan was flyable and ONLY Aziz Iskandar had the CAT to fly it. We called it 'Flying Coffin'. When he reached KL, he called and asked one of the instructor pilot to send me to KL.
Lt Col Aziz was later posted to MAGLAT (Markas Grup Latihan Udara- rented one bungalow at Jalan Chan Moi Moi, Setapak) and succeeded by Lt Col Cheng Tiom Bow TUDM.
Moved In to OMQ
As a 2nd Lt, I preferred to live outside, because I can get housing allowance. With RM370 allowance per month and the to pay house rent for RM200, I still got some extra to play around. This because, my pay at that time was only RM750. So minus all the deductions, such as cooperation loans, PERNAMA loans and etc, less than RM400 in my pocket. I could consider that my financial management was not so stable. I bought a second hand car in 1984, Datsun Pulsar (registered number CQ 5300) with the cost of RM6500.
I was staying in Taman TAS until end of 1985 when my name which was listed in the 'Senarai Tetap' received an instruction to move into the OMQ CA3 in the base with effective on 1 Jan 1986. It was 3 storey block and my house at 1st floor. My neighbours were at the ground floor; Mej Azizan Shaari (now Brig Jen Dato) and Mej Dahalan Jani (retired Kol); 1st floor, Mej Quek S.C (retired Lt Kol) and 2nd floor were Lt Suri Daud (now Kol) and Lt Zulkifli Mues (retired Mej).
SENARAINAMA PEGAWAI-PEGAWAI MEMERINTAH PANGKALAN UDARA KUANTAN
- Wg Cdr Eric George ramsay (Feb 1968 - Apr 1969)9 -
- Wg Cdr Lawrence Phong Kew mun (Apr 69 - Oct 69)
- Wg Cdr Maximillian Albert Theseira (Okt 69 - Jun 70)
- Wg Cdr Mohamed bin Ngah Said (Jun 70 - Jan 73)
- Wg Cdr Max Theseira (Jan 73 - Jan 76)
- Kol (U) Chuab Ban Hin (Jan 76 - Jan 80)
- Kol (U) Tunku Jaafar Laksamana bin Tunku Nong Jewa (Jan 80 - Jun 80)
- Lt Kol (U) Richard George Jalleh (Pemangku: Jun 80 - Ogos 81)
- Kol (U) Tunku Jaafar Laksamana (Ogos 81 - Apr 83)
- Kol (U) Nawi bin Alias (Apr 83 - Jan 85)
- Kol (U) Hussein bin Supian (Jan 85 - Jul 87)
- Kol Mohd Ali bin Wayat TUDM (Jul 87 - Jun 89)
- Kol Hj Othman bin Sulan TUDM (Jun 89 - Dis 92)
- Kol Abdullah bin Hj Ahmad TUDM (Dis 92 - Jun 93)
- Lt Kol Loke Kok Yee TUDM (Jun 93 - Okt 95)
- Kol Rodzali bin Daud TUDM (Okt 95 - Jun 96)
- Kol Bashir bin Abu Bakar TUDM (Jun 96 - Feb 98)
- Lt Kol Abd Malek bin Zakaria TUDM (Pemangku: Feb 98 - Nov 98)
- Kol Bashir bin Hj Abu Bakar TUDM (Nov 98 - Apr 99)
- Kol Shamsuri bin Ashaari TUDM (Apr 99 - Dis 01)
- Kol Ismail bin Ibrahim TUDM (Dis 01 - Okt 04)
- Kol Ackbal bin Hj Abdul Samad TUDM (Okt 04 - Apr 06)
- Kol Kamalruzaman bin Mohd Othman TUDM (Apr 06 - Apr 07)
- Kol Abd Malek bin Zakaria TUDM (Apr 07 - Dis 09)
- Kol Hj Ibrahim bin Hashim TUDM (Dis 09 - kini)