Sultan urges Royal Brunei Armed Forces to embrace technology

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. - BB

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN): Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) should constantly be receptive and responsive to current developments, such as making use of cyber technology, while also mitigating its threats to security.

In a titah to mark the 60th anniversary of the RBAF during the RBAF 60th Anniversary Grand Parade at the Taman Sir Muda Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien in the capital on Monday (May 31), the Sultan said, “As an armed forces with a low number of personnel, the RBAF should utilise technological applications as part of the measures to enhance its capabilities.”

“The introduction of the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to the RBAF in the near future is an example of a technological approach leading to capability enhancement or a force multiplier.

"Apart from strengthening national defence, it is readily capable of enhancing the RBAF’s skills in technological usage, ” said the monarch.

The Sultan also said that despite the benefits of cyber technology, it can also pose a threat to security by way of cyber-attacks.

“In this respect, I hope that the establishment of a Cyber Defence Unit will be fully utilised to manage threats and fortify cyber security, ” said the monarch.

Earlier, the Sultan said, “Six decades of the RBAF’s establishment is a significant feat as a defence institution. During this entire period, the RBAF is viewed as always prepared to maintain the security and sovereignty of the nation, while at the same time capable of adjusting to developments.”

In conjunction with the historical event and in acknowledgement of the RBAF’s accomplishments from the outset, the Sultan conferred Diamond Jubilee Medals to RBAF personnel yesterday, including a number of former leaders who were directly involved in the planning and progress of the RBAF.

“Since its establishment, the RBAF has also encountered changes on the geo-strategy landscape, which give immediate rise to various challenges. Apart from traditional challenges, the RBAF also faces non-traditional challenges such as standing firm in assisting the government to curb the coronavirus pandemic, ” said the monarch.

With this, the Sultan launched the Defence White Paper 2021 on Monday, as well as the RBAF Long-Term Capability Development Plan called ‘Force 2035’, while expressing hope that these would steer the RBAF towards resilient development.

Apart from military and cyber capabilities, the Sultan expressed confidence that “human capability is the essential element of the armed forces; therefore, it is crucial for the RBAF to possess quality personnel who practise the RBAF’s core values of professionalism, loyalty, courage and piety.

“In this respect, I have given my consent for the Religious Department of the RBAF (JAMA’AT) to be elevated from a unit to a directorate.

“In matters of regional cooperation, I am pleased with the efforts of the Ministry of Defence (MinDef) and the RBAF in maintaining defence diplomacy and regional cooperation within the Asean framework – particularly as the Asean Chair this year – notably the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and the Asean Chiefs of Defence Forces Meeting (ACDFM).

“I also hope that the Asean Military Exercise, which was agreed upon during the recent ACDFM conference, will be implemented in the near future.

“I wish to express my pride over the RBAF’s involvement in peace and monitoring missions through the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the International Monitoring Team (IMT) and the International Decommissioning Body in the Philippines, as well as duties at the Information Fusion Centre and Counter-Terrorism Information Facility in Singapore.

“These involvements signify the country’s continuous commitment in enhancing regional and international security, ” said the Sultan, concluding the titah. - Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Network

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