Sultan pleased with military coordination
Abdul Hakiim Yakof, Aziz Idris, Danial Norjidi & Izah Azahari

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), consented to visit exercise areas of the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise (ADMM-Plus HADR & MM Ex) yesterday at Muara Naval Base, the Temburong District and Mentiri.

Upon arrival at the Royal Brunei Naval Base helipad, His Majesty was greeted by Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office, Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Deputy Minister of Defence, Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mustappa bin Haji Sirat and Commander of the RBAF, Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan.

The monarch’s itinerary began with a visit to the Multi National Coordination Centre (MNCC) yesterday morning, where His Majesty was briefed on the various functions and capabilities of the centre. His Majesty then boarded a BlackHawk aircraft, which flew the monarch from Muara to Temburong, where His Majesty visited the Biang and Selangan sites.

Before His Majesty departed Selangan Primary School in Temburong to proceed to the Mentiri exercise site, the monarch consented to express his satisfaction to the Borneo Bulletin over the military prowess of the multinational forces from 18 participating countries during the exercise.

Commenting on the level of military coordination during the exercises, His Majesty told the Bulletin: “I am very happy.”

Coordination is a crucial part in any disaster relief efforts, especially those involving many countries to fully produce systematic links in offering military assets.

While touring the Medical Level 2 (Field Hospital) at Parade Square in Temburong, His Majesty, when asked on his thoughts about the whole exercise, said: “It’s very good and I’m very pleased … I’ve enjoyed it.”

At the Mentiri exercise site, located near the Mentiri Housing Area, the monarch witnessed an urban search and rescue exercise operation, which showcased the capabilities of the various participating countries of the ADMM-Plus HADR & MM Ex in cooperating with each other to deal with the presented scenario.

His Majesty’s next stop was the Muara Commercial Port, where the monarch took a closer look at facilities of the Peace Ark, the People’s Liberation Army Navy hospital ship.

His Majesty then moved on to the Medical Level 2 field hospital at the RBN Parade Square in Muara Naval Base, where the monarch was welcomed by medical teams from India and Malaysia. While at the Muara Naval Base, His Majesty inspected the medical services and facilities used to treat minor injuries.

After a group photo session, His Majesty consented to receive a ‘pesambah’. Prior to concluding the visit, His Majesty consented to attend a ‘santap’ at the RBN Warrant Officers’ building. His Majesty also consented to sign the Royal Parchment.

In a press statement, the Ministry of Defence said that the natural disaster simulated in the exercise, ‘Typhoon SIMPUR’, had now come to an end.

For the past few days, the personnel from the Multi-National Armed Forces had conducted intensive joint search and rescue operations to the villagers affected by the typhoon.

Multi-national medical teams were also deployed at the affected sites to provide treatment to the casualties.

The above incident was the scenario of yesterday’s ADMM-Plus HADR & MM Exercise, which involved more than 2,000 personnel from the 18 countries, beginning on June 17.

Such an incident is a realistic scenario as some parts of the world experience such natural disasters.

With the ADMM-Plus HADR & MM Exercise, the Multi National Armed Forces have moved a step forward in fostering close cooperation and relationship, as well as in enhancing inter-operability and readiness, if such disasters strike the region.

The statement also described the inaugural ADMM-Plus HADR & MM Exercise as having “clearly showcased serious commitment of the Armed Forces of Asean and Asean Plus countries to jointly maintain regional peace and stability”. - Borneo Bulletin (21 June 2013)