Crown Prince to open 10th BISAM today
By Waleed PD Mahdini

BISAM, or the Brunei International Skill-At-Arms Meet, the international invitational shooting competition hosted by the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) as the 10th in its series is being competed for by nine countries, the largest ever participation since BISAM was first held in 1985.

His Royal Highness Prince General Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and General of RBAF will officially open the event at the Binturan Firing Range Complex, Penanjong Garrison. HRH will also be witnessing the handover of the prestigious BISAM Trophy by the Indonesian Armed Forces Contingent Commander - winners of the last meet in 2009 - to this year's Chief Jury.

Usually held biennially, BISAM is now competed for triennially, and this year's 10-day event will see the inclusion of marksmen and shooters from the Sultanate of Oman, Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan into the pool of BISAM's regular competitors from Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom. Brunei will be represented by shooters from all three services of the RBAF and the Royal Brunei Police Force.

The Commander of the RBAF, Major General Dato Paduka Seri Hj Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin noted that the "gathering of professional marksmen, sharpshooters and various expertise will undoubtedly generate a high and healthy competitive spirit among the contingents, allowing new talents to come forth, as well as providing an avenue for the exchange of knowledge and technical expertise amongst participants".

The first of the nine contingents had arrived in the country since January 5 and after a period of acclimatisation began their three-day stint of controlled practice sessions on Monday, January 16, before the opening ceremony today, which will kick off with the VIP Novelty Match that is expected to see the participation of HRH the Crown Prince, the second stage of the Machine Gun contest and the third stage of Ladies Pistol stage.

"Their presence is indicative of their highest commitment and continuous support to us, which I sincerely feel directly broadens and serves to strengthen existing relations, as well as forge new ties," highlighted Maj Gen Dato Hj Aminuddin.

The highly-anticipated matches, the Team Snap Match and the Rifle Falling Plate Match, will take place on Wednesday, January 25, where all the competitors will be aiming and zeroing in for the top prize in their country's honour. The following day will see the Golden Jubilee Match, in honour of the RBAF's recent 50th anniversary celebration last May, and the Section Match.

On Saturday, January 28, the final matches, the Pistol and the Rifle Falling Matches, will be witnessed by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of the RBAF, who a renowned keen shooter himself, is also expected to take part in the VVIP Novelty Shoot ahead of the final prize presentations for the winners.

In military terms, BISAM sets to improve the standard of marksmanship in a top military-grade, international-setting high stakes shooting competition that also provides an opportunity for enhancing military cooperation amongst the participants and, in the spirit of sportsmanship, despite the different uniforms, the competition also serves as a meaningful platform to promote goodwill and establish closer relations, both personally and professionally. - Borneo Bulletin (19th January 2012)