Salute to Army's vision
By Liza Mohd

Towards increasing the standard and quality of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam fully embraced the step made by the Royal Brunei Armed Forces in the establishment of a Military Academy this year.

His Majesty, in his titah to commemorate the 47th Anniversary of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces at the 3rd Battalion Royal Brunei Land Force camp in Lumut, also takes note on the establishment of Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies as well as improvement works to the Training Institute.

His Majesty said the facilities will inevitably widen the perspective and vision of army members and expressed hope that such assets will be utilised as a lifelong learning platform to acquire various skills.

In the titah, His Majesty expressed happiness on witnessing the rapid growth of infrastructure development. Not only has the Ministry of Defence start occupying a better building, even the facilities for soldiers based in Baru-Baru Island has been well equipped, said His Majesty.

"The opening of the Third Battalion camp undeniably is an apparent indication that the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' level of professionalism and capability is accelerating. This also signifies our immense attentiveness to provide a more comfortable surrounding for army members; apart from the objective to bring about a more professional atmosphere, appropriate with a defence force which is currently developing," His Majesty noted.

Besides attaining knowledge, sharpening skills, obtaining equipment and building infrastructure, His Majesty also stressed on the importance of possessing effective leadership qualities.

"Leaders should possess vision to carry out improvement, apart from owning skills to predominate any weaknesses. In the military institution, leadership characteristics such as these are extremely vital to distinguish itself from other institutions," His Majesty emphasised.

"All layers of leadership in the Royal Brunei Armed Forces should turn into a 'centre of gravity', where all welfare or interest of the Armed Forces mainly relies on. Respective leaders must be an exemplary model to those he leads, whether in the aspect of standard, discipline or relations with Allah the Almighty. Successful leaders are those who manage to produce respective followers who fulfill basic responsibilities they shoulder," His Majesty cited on leadership during the titah.

His Majesty further expressed his gratitude to Allah the Almighty for the blissful gathering yesterday morning to mark the 47th Anniversary of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces as it is a good opportunity for the force to enhance closer relations with families and acknowledge their strong support to their spouses or children, involved in the military service.

Apart from celebrating, the event also serves as opportunity for us to reflect on the challenges previously or currently faced, His Majesty stated.

His Majesty expressed his well-wishes to all Royal Brunei Armed Forces members who are still in service; retired members and their families as well as staff from the Ministry of Defence for their dedicated services.

And in concluding the titah, His Majesty conveys anniversary greetings to members who are unable to be part of the celebration due to work commitments in and out of the country and called for prayers so the population will be provided with guidance and blessing from Allah in all tasks and responsibilities for the country and hope that Brunei remains peaceful, prosperous and blessed with Allah's consent.

His Majesty addressed the titah at the field's royal podium after inspecting the guard of honour and witnessing the march-past by 1,547 personnel's from various Royal Brunei Armed Forces units.

The celebration of the RBAF 47th Anniversary this year is centered at the Third Batallion Royal Brunei Land Forces camp as in Lumut yesterday.

The theme for this year's celebration is "Empowering Youth to Strengthen National Defence" (Memperkasa Tunas Bangsa Memperkukuh Pertahanan Negara).

For the first time, the vicinity of the camp was open to the public since the Third Battalion was relocated on June 21 last year and visitors were treated to a mass parade, static displays and arena performances.

Arena performances lined up for public yesterday included a parachute showcase, unarmed combat display, military band performances and gymnastics among others. - Borneo Bulletin (1st June 2008)