The Royal Brunei Armed Forces, RBAF, should play its role in consolidating the country's defence institution, through a more comprehensive and well-directed military development plan. His Royal Highness Prince General Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Muizzaddien Waddaulah, the Deputy Sultan and General of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces made the sabda at the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' 51st Anniversary celebration in the morning.
His Royal Highness pointed out that with such a role, the RBAF will be more confident in tackling any current and future challenges. Toward this goal, the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to the establishment of a long-term Military Capability Development Program for the development and expansion of the country's defence institution's authoritativeness to the desired level. The celebration took place at the Drill Field of the Royal Brunei Navy's Base in Muara.
Upon arrival at the Royal Brunei Naval base, His Royal Highness was welcomed by the Acting Minister of Defence, Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mustappa and the Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan.
Shortly after arrival, His Royal Highness consented to receive the Royal Salute and inspect the Massive Parade of military forces teams mounted by 1-thousand 2-hundred personnel of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, led by the Parade Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Khairi bin Haji Ismail. The military forces teams comprised personnel from the Royal Brunei Land Force, the Royal Brunei Navy, the Royal Brunei Airforce, the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Training Institute, the Special Force Regiment, Women Military Personnel and the RBAF Band.
The massive parade was then followed with a march past by the Parade Teams with the flags of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. The theme of this year's celebration - "Defending My Country Brunei Darussalam" carries a profound meaning and is relevant to the Royal Brunei Armed Forces in general. As a sultanate that is unique and has successfully established its name in various fields of international management and relations, the country's role can be defined as having the highest regard for global peace. This is apart from possessing positive competitivesness and high vision towards any internal, regional or global plans.
The march past was then followed with an Advancing Parade for a review. The Royal Brunei Armed Forces faces various challenges. Well-organised planning and implementation with integrity can give a very meaningful inspiration to the whole RBAF community.
His Royal Highness in his sabda stressed that in the context of implementing the RBAF's role in consolidating the national defence institution, the government of His Royal Highness' father has always emphasised on the need for a plan that is directed towards development, to achieve the country's defence objective. The main objective, His Royal Highness added, is to establish a military force that is resilient, and has its own capabilities as well as a high level of professionalism and preparedness.
"Therefore, my father, His Majesty, has consented to a largely comprehensive long-term Military Capability Development Programme to develop and expand the country's defence institution to the desired level. In this regard, I congratulate the RBAF for having successfully established several institutions to achieve the objective, such as the Military Capability Development Directorate; Science and Technology Research and Development Centre; and the Defence Academy. Obviously, the establishment of these institutions is very important for consolidation of an integrated defence capability of a force that is able to tackle any current threats and challenges including non-conventional operations. The positive development also enables the RBAF to contribute more meaningfully to the cooperation framework of the civil enforcement agency. Aside from that, is is also very beneficial to the direct involvement of the defence personnel in regional and international peacekeeping operations such as the International Monitoring Force in Mindanao, Philippines and the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Lebanon. Towards this, regular doctrines and procedures should always be carefully arranged and updated to ensure Brunei's military capability in carrying out various forms of operational requirements in various fields. Efficiency and swiftness of Brunei's armed forces should continue to be neaten up as the effectiveness of every operation very much depends on the level of preparedness of the Force's personnel and equipment."
Doa Selamat was read by the Assistant Head of the RBAF Religious Department, Lieutenant Ariffin bin Amit.
His Royal Highness in his capacity as Deputy Sultan then consented to receive the Royal Salute followed by a fly-by from the Royal Brunei Airforce aircraft.
At the Royal Brunei Navy Multi-purpose Hall, His Royal Highness consented to attend a Junjung Ziarah ceremony with the personnel of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces from corporal level and below. At the function, His Royal Highness also made a sabda touching on the success of the 4th Hikmat Bersatu Exercise recently, that focused on counter-insurgency operations and urban warfare in a large-scale military training manouvre involving land, sea and air military power. It also aims to test the actual capability of the Joint Headquarters Operation Centre and the C4i System. His Royal Highness in his sabda, expressed hope that the establishment of the Maritime Training School will contribute towards empowering maritime defence capabilities. His Royal Highness also stressed that in order for RBAF to gain full advantage of the exercise, any gap and weakness in the capabilities identified as a result of the exercise should be taken as an example and rectified accordingly. This includes the requirement to introduce scheduled fit-for-role examination methods and periodical training among all military services.
His Royal Highness then consented to proceed to the Bravo Jetty area to watch the military manouvres at sea. This training exercise is part of efforts to develop RBAF's professionalism and counter-action towards any eventuality. It tests the capacity and capability in facing critical situations. This signifies technological advancement in various fields including highly sophisticated management procedures and equipment modernisation. His Royal Highness believed that many more areas for improvement should be tackled and prepared economically and wisely. This covers legislation of current policies linked to acquisition, replacement and updating of assets, workforce management, and management of defence infrastructure that is sustainable and of a high level. In reality, integrated capability building such as this will take time and provide continuous challenges.
After that, His Royal Highness consented to view a Static Display from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Units, Ministry of Defence and the Ex-Soldiers Association. His Royal Highness in his sabda also reminded the Ministry of Defence and the RBAF specifically, on the need to ensure a dynamic defence institution management and to prepare the armed forces so that its capbilities continue to improve from time to time. In other words, His Royal Highness stressed that balance in the defence institution development should be directed towards the development of all aspects of military services, based on their own capabilities. This capability should be owned and mastered towards contributing to the success and outcome of a joint operation collaboration. In this regard, His Royal Highness emphasised the mutual hope that the implementation of the Maritime Training School's construction in the stiipulated time-frame will play a role in empowering the maritime defence capabilities, particularly in defending the sovereignty of the exclusive economic zone.
This era of modernisation has also mostly been influenced by the results of research and development of Science and Technology conferences. Such a progress, His Royal Highness said in his sabda, also requires the RBAF to be more conscientious and careful in making studies and evaluations towards any tactical needs in order to ensure acquisition procedures are in line with the objective of the operation capability development. Towards this, related approach and processes in the Ministry of Defence need to be reassessed from time to time as a basis of continuous improvement to facilitate and expedite the successful achievement of acquisition process and capacity development according to the time frame given. His Royal Highness also touched on the private sector's role which should be encouraged, especially local companies, to also compete in tendering their respective services as an incentive to the growth of the local defence service industry in general. Through improvements in outsourcing methods and joint efforts between the public and private sectors, local entrepreneurs can build up their respective capability to continue to compete regionally and internationally. This to generate growth in the potential economic sector by offering quality and sustainable employment opportunities to Brunei citizens.
At the Royal Brunei Navy Warrant Officers, Staff Sergeant and Sargeant Mess, His Royal Highness consented to receive the Junjung Ziarah from the RBAF officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers. At this function, His Royal Highness in his sabda also congratulated the RBAF on its achievement in instilling noble religious values through the direct involvement of the leadership and personnel in religious activities throughout the year. This approach will strengthen their devotion in line with the inculcation of the Malay Islamic Monarch concept as the core characteristic in the national defence institution.
His Royal Highness consented to cut the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' 51st anniversary cake.
Prior to the luncheon, Doa Selamat was read.
The RBAF needs to ensure that the nation's defence is always prepared with capabilities that are relevant to current challenges. As a small sized armed forces, the RBAF should balance out any shortcomings by being a Force Multiplier and mastering technology. The objective can only be achieved by appreciating the leadership role and workforce skills. Apart from leadership with integrity and professionalism, this century's operation also needs innovation, creativity and wisdom for all levels bearing such challenging duties.