Borneo January – October 1966

The Indonesian–Malaysian Confrontation during 1963–1966 was an undeclared ‘limited’ war aimed against the new Malaysian Federation by Indonesia. Most action took place in the border area between Indonesia and Borneo. Lt Col Wilson took command of the battalion during six weeks intense training in Malaya. The battalion then took over from 2nd Royal Green Jackets in Sabah in North Borneo just as full scale operations petered out.

Battalion HQ was at Kalabakan with Y Company in reserve with HQ Company in Tawau. The border ran alongside the river Serudong, with the three forward rifle companies being based along it. ‘A’ Company was at Serudong ULU, the most remote and furthest from Wallace Bay and wholly reliant on helicopter resupply. ‘B’ Company at Serudong Laut was further downriver and resupplied by river and helicopter. ‘Z’ Company was a main component of the Tawau Assault Group (TAG) covering the Wallace Bay area with the Royal Navy, where most of their patrolling was by small boat.

Jungle and lack of roads characterised the 60 miles of border the battalion had to patrol. Platoons patrolled from forward Company bases, being dropped and picked up by helicopter, allowing a five day patrol to cover a large area of the border.

It was a largely uneventful tour. On 11 August an agreement was signed to end Confrontation, although an incident took place on 25 August which was successfully contained. The battalion then withdrew to the UK, after a shortened tour.