Royalty at 49th RBAF anniversary celebration
By Danial Norjidi

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), consented to attend the 49th RBAF anniversary celebration yesterday at Penanjong Garrison.

On arrival His Majesty was greeted by Brunei's new Deputy Minister of Defence, Dato Paduka Haji Mustappha bin Haji Sirat, and the Commander of RBAF, Major General Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin.

His Majesty was accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince General Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, General RBAF and His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik.

Shortly after arriving at the parade square, His Majesty was accorded the Royal Salute and consented to inspect a Guard of Honour.

The Guard of Honour comprised 1,449 personnel from various RBAF units including Royal Brunei Land Force (RBLF), Royal Brunei Navy (RBN), Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF), Training Institute RBAF (TI RBAF), Women Military Personnel and the Special Force Regiment (SFR). They were commanded by the Parade Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Mohd Ismaon bin Hj Zainie.

Following the inspection, the grand parade preceded with the slow- and fast-paced march, in which military personnel carried with them His Majesty's and RBAF's regimental flags.

After the march past, His Majesty received the Royal Salute, followed by the Royal Brunei Air Force helicopters' fly-past, as well as three chants of "Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik" by the grand parade.

After His Majesty delivered a Titah to mark the 49th RBAF anniversary celebration, a doa was recited by the Head of RBAF Religious Department (JA'MAAT), Lieutenant Colonel (U) Haji Abdur' Rahim bin Haji Abd Karim.

His Majesty later consented to view static displays, which were presented by the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF), Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) and Special Force Regiment. There were also demonstrations featuring archery shooting and horse riding.

After meeting personnel at the Warrant Officer/Staff Sergeant/Sergeant Mess, His Majesty viewed static displays at the Company Recruit Building of the TI RBAF and the Military Performance Optimisation Centre (POC).

The final static display was by the Royal Brunei Land Force (RBLF) at the Infantry School.

After viewing the static displays, His Majesty and Their Royal Highnesses proceeded to the Lower Ranks Club/ TI RBAF Library for the 'junjung ziarah' with other rank personnel.

His Majesty and Their Royal Highnesses also witnessed a number of activities at the Blue Tower such as rock climbing, flying fox, abseiling and roping by the RBLF personnel and the POC Physical Trainers.

At the Penanjong Garrison Officers' Mess, His Majesty and Their Royal Highnesses were presented a 'santap' by the Ministry of Defence, RBAF officials and retired Commanders of RBAF. His Majesty also consented to cut the 49th RBAF Anniversary cake.

His Majesty was also introduced to senior officers who are currently undertaking the seventh series of the Ministry of Defence Executive Development Programme (EDP).

This year's EDP is being attended by senior military officers from RBAF, senior civilian officers from the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade and Ministry of Health. For the first time ever, a senior officer from the Sultanate of Oman is joining the programme.

At the end of the day, His Majesty and His Royal Highness Prince General signed the Royal Parchments and consented to have a group photograph taken with senior officers of the Ministry of Defence and RBAF. - Borneo Bulletin (1st June 2010)