A sniper’s view of Bali Ground Zero

From the top of the Bali 2002 Bomb Memorial, two snipers (above) kept watch while Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other officials paid their respects yesterday morning.

Dressed in black, complete with facemasks, the snipers were most likely from Detachment C (anti-terror) of Gegana, a branch of Indonesia’s special operations police force (BRIMOB) and ostensibly tasked with police special operations duties.

A few quick facts about the unit:

  • The unit was formed in 1976 with a focus on anti-hijacking. The name Gegana is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘gegono’ meaning ‘sky’, relating to these duties.[1]
  • According to senior police officials, members of Gegana must be trained in a range of skills including negotiation and sniping, however all must be well-versed in bomb defusal.[2]
  • As of July 2011, Gegana has its own style of hand-to-hand combat that is a blend of several martial arts with the aim of to “train[ing] its Detachment members to build a combative spirit, very fit well being, strong esprit de corps, develop warrior mentality and overall combative skills.”[3]
  • Besides being out in force on the day of PM Gillard’s visit to Bali Ground Zero, Gegana have also secured the Australian Consulate-General office in Denpasar Bali in early October.[4]
Later that day, I gained access to the rooftop of the building behind the Memorial to check the viewpoint of the snipers.
Looking down on Bali 2002 Bomb Memorial:
The back of the Memorial:
Just a quick post for now; more to come on yesterday’s security and what Gillard’s visit to the Memorial signifies.

[2] Tempo Interactive, ‘Resimen II Brimob: profil’, http://www.tempo.co.id/harian/profil/gegana.html, accessed 20 November 2011.

[3] Self Defense Indonesia, News, 9 October 2011, http://selfdefenseindonesia.com/website/news/news017.html

[4] Okezone.com, ‘Kenang Tragedi Bom Bali, Gegana Sterilkan Konjen Australia’, 1 October 2011, http://news.okezone.com/read/2011/10/01/340/509508/kenang-tragedi-bom-bali-gegana-sterilkan-konjen-australia, accessed 20 November 2011.

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