Curtains raised to new Bolkiah Garrison facilities
Danial Norjidi

IN conjunction with yesterday’s 52nd Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) anniversary celebrations, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to officially launch and inaugurate a number of new facilities at Bolkiah Garrison.

One of these facilities was the Performance Optimisation Centre (POC), which was completed in 2012.

The POC possesses the vision to be the centre of excellence for soldier fitness and conditioning in the RBAF, and its mission is to monitor and enhance soldiers’ performance through research, training policies and injury management.

The centre is designed to help maximise the potential of RBAF personnel, as well as to provide a facility for them to both train in and go through rehabilitation, should it be required.

The centre contains a number of different units, namely a Headquarters, Sports Medicine Clinic, Sports Management and Physical Trainers, a Human Performance Laboratory, School of Physical Trainers as well as a rehabilitation pool. At this time, there is a total of 35 military and civilian personnel serving at the centre.

Also inaugurated yesterday was the Bolkiah Gymnasium. Construction for the gymnasium began on September 2010, and was fully completed in October 2011.

Built at a cost of B$3.32 million with a floor area of 2,600 metres, the building is envisaged to be a modern, contemporary sport and recreational facility, as well as a multi-purpose hall.

The gymnasium was built with energy efficiency in mind, and boasts a number of amenities.

It has the capacity to accommodate 50 people, and is furnished with the latest cardiovascular fitness equipment. There is also a VIP room with en-suite rest room and pantry.

The gymnasium has 100 lockers, toilets and changing rooms, management and security offices, a prayer room for up to 20 people, a lounge area with audio visual facilities, a refreshment area and also a connection passageway as a viewing platform to the football field and running track.

The multipurpose hall of the gym has four badminton courts, an indoor futsal court that complies with FIFA’s international standard, retractable seating for a capacity of 288, a royal box and spectator seating for 50 as well as 1,200 capacity for banquet seating events.

His Majesty also consented to inaugurate the new building of Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies.

The establishment of this institute was officially announced by the monarch in a titah during the 45th anniversary of the RBAF on May 31, 2006.

The institute was set up with the vision of becoming a leading think-tank in regional defence, security and strategic studies, and with the mission of studying, discussing and disseminating defence, security and strategic issues relevant to Brunei Darussalam and its surrounding environment.

The monarch then proceeded to visit the RBAF Band Headquarters, which was officially opened by Brigadier General JPW Friedberger MBE, Commander of the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment on October 3, 1983.

In 2009, the building began undergoing a major refurbishment to accommodate the expanding strength of the musicians in the RBAF band. This renovation was completed in 2011, bringing with it several new facilities.

One of these facilities is a main concert hall, which serves as a rehearsal venue for the concert band, and also has a stage and backstage dressing rooms. The hall can accommodate live performances, and it is built with soundproof walls to provide it with the ideal setup for live audio recording.

It also has studios for dance performance choreography as well as for rock and dance band rehearsals, and one of them also has recording capabilities.

Other new facilities include harmonic and melodic rooms, as well as a music library and others. - Borneo Bulletin (2 June 2013)