|Photo of an Airgunner: Self at the No.3 SQN dispersal RMAF Butterworth 1970s|
|My Alouette III gunship-mate, Sgt Peter Nunis at the helm of MG151/20mm Cannon.|
My Alouette III Flying Log stated from February 1979 to November 1980 showed not a single round of ammo being fired from any of my helicopter gunship. Supposed so, be the rest of the gunners too. Probably was the period that we airgunners were duly breifed by our Officer Commanding No.3 Sqn. that said, 'No more trigger happy and minimize all firing only when necessary state be allowed.' Derived in relation to the released order received from The Air Headquarters, at Kuala Lumpur, stating that the RMAF were running out of 20mm gunship ammunition nationwide. Yeah! we were the few branded bunch of 'trigger happy gunners' of the gunship squadron. However the gunship and Nuri operators still flying in the hot pursuit areas of the border operations with the normal routine of Nuri flying in and out of the LPs(Landing Point) be seeing like a 'sitting duck' and the gunship like an 'angry bird' encircling above and around the LPs with a limited guaranteed protection. Something abnormal not to our liking and what a disgusting war we had to face. Though we sigh but still comply and accept the order of the higher authority with full respect. My salute to those brave dedicated men!
Finally the '20mm ammo crisis' were lifted when a full load of ammunitions arrived from Portugal by the RMAF C130 aircraft at RMAF Base Butterworth, parking far away at the 'Chopper East' dispersal in avoidance to publicity. That evening, in the Mess, a C130 Loadmaster brushed my shoulder and whispered to me, 'Your parcel arrived.' It was learnt that the RMAF went too far for a shopping of these consumable gunship ammunition which was in great demand at that time, and the good news...the whole operation was back to normal. As an Airgunner, I called it a moral booster!