By Aziz Idris
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday announced the renewal of terms of service and career development structure for all levels of personnel of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF).
Donning the new 'digital' combat uniform, His Majesty delivered his titah during the celebrations of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Golden Jubilee at Berakas Garrison.
His Majesty also announced changes in remuneration packages for other ranks in RBAF effective August 1, 2011.
"I hope these changes will further enhance the quality of excellence and bring added value to the military profession," said His Majesty.
The monarch also reminded RBAF personnel to compensate for any deficiency in the military with technological capabilities and multiple strengths.
But the monarch was quick to point out that this can only be achieved by valuing the role of leadership and workforce in addition to the existing professional integrity, before adding that the current operations of RBAF require innovation, creativity and wisdom from all levels.
"In addition, to complement the regimentation, the military's law enforcement and spiritual upbringing is also necessary," the Supreme Commander stressed.
The benevolent ruler wished to see the Royal Brunei Land Force, Royal Brunei Navy, Royal Brunei Air Force and the RBAF Training Institute continue to strive for success by eliminating any gaps that currently exist.
His Majesty emphasised on religion for all military personnel by saying, "I hope the RBAF personnel will ward off undesirable elements for the benefit of themselves and the nation."
However, the monarch reminded: "Comfort and peace are not the creation of our own but of God. If we safeguard our religion by keeping it close to our hearts, on or off duty, by God's blessing, the comfort and peace will be sustained."
Earlier, His Majesty expressed his appreciation to all members of the military including ex-military personnel for their contribution to the nation and added that such contributions should be upheld.
Through this way, His Majesty added, "All the services and contributions should be sustained not simply for maintaining peace but also for the development and growth of the economy, because these developments could only be achieved if there is peace.
"Look at several countries in the world that have failed or were too slow to develop because of the disruption of peace. They were more focused on addressing the situation rather than directing the economic growth and development. This shows how peace contributes largely to a nation."
In this context, the ruler urged not to let our defence service down and ensure that our abilities stay relevant with the current challenges.
"All this", the monarch pointed out, "requires preparations to be made in the interest of the country, which include issues of international relations, global security, trade, environment and others.
"These also include the process of cooperation - at regional or international levels - therefore, the Ministry of Defence and RBAF must build bilateral and multilateral relations with other countries in the concept of defence diplomacy," said His Majesty.
At the regional level, cooperation in the framework of Asean and between Asean and dialogue partners is important for Brunei to be active, especially when Brunei will chair the meeting of Defence Ministers of Asean and Asean Defence-Military Meeting (ADMM) in 2013, added His Majesty.
The monarch acknowledged the involvement of RBAF in peacekeeping missions overseas, as the International Monitoring Team (IMT) in the Republic of Philippines and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) have provided exposure on international security and challenges.
In the defence field, the ruler was pleased with RBAF for maximising the response of existing military capabilities with integrated joint operation methods and joint planning operations. "This goal is achieved by utilising the Command, Control, Computer, Communications and Intelligence (C4I) network and the establishment of the Joint Force Headquarters such as the special units of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological Explosives (CBRE)."
The ruler further added that any aspect of capacity building also plays a role in accelerating the decision making process and improve the quality of the military.
His Majesty spelt out the establishment of several institutions in RBAF as complementary objectives, which include the Department of Force Capability Development, Research and Development of Science and Technology Centre and Defence Academy.
"Due to these developments, RBAF is required to fill up shortages in its workforce, whereby an aggressive recruitment of human resources is needed," said His Majesty before urging, "it is also important for Royal Brunei Armed Forces to offer attractive career options as well as guarantee a good future." His Majesty consented to award the RBAF Golden Jubilee medal for all army personnel who are currently serving the nation as recognition to mark 50 years of excellence in the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.
In wrapping up the titah, His Majesty conveyed his appreciation and thanks to those who took part in the grand military parade yesterday morning and added that the newly acquired 'digital' combat uniform has led to a positive change in RBAF.
- Borneo Bulletin
(1 June 2011)