| Fadhil Yunus |
IN THE profession of defence and security, miscalculations and complacency are never acceptable. There is no room now or in the foreseeable future for such error to arise due to negligence by any military officer or organisation… for when we fail, all else will be a total loss and despair.
Acting Minister of Defence Dato Paduka Haji Mustappa bin Haji Sirat underlined this in his speech during the Command and Staff Course 2014 certificate presentation ceremony held yesterday at the Officers’ Mess of the Sungai Akar Camp.
The scope and requirements of professional military operations have stretched into a much wider spectrum of missions during the past two decades, he said, citing increased bilateral and multilateral engagements to address current security concerns.
Seeing that the difficulty in recognising a friend from a foe in complex operating environments poses an even more challenging job for military and security forces, the acting minister explained that concerns on traditional security challenges remain valid today. This is well documented by a world that has seen a rise in the occurrence of unconventional, unpredictable incidences.
“A well known description of this is the ‘Black Swan,’ a notion that refers to certain kinds of rare and unpredictable events with extreme impacts,” he said.
The single-nation solve-it-all solution is no longer considered an ideal option to resolve emerging ‘security phenomena’ and the next alternative will have to be multilateralism through enhanced defence diplomacy and increased cooperation between military forces, he said.
He then called on senior officers to exercise greater diligence and rationality in their approach to tackling security challenges of today and the future.
“The Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) has been mutually recognised and is directly compatible with the United Kingdom’s Advanced Command and Staff Course – conducted at the Joint Services Command and Staff College in Shrivenham,” he said.
Such accreditation will further motivate the staff college to continuously ensure the delivery of high-quality and credible courses that are internationally recognised.
As the course is designed to offer the cohort to pursue a Masters Degree in International Security with Massey University, the acting minister urged the officers, particularly those from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces who meet the requirements, to take the rare opportunity to further achieve academic excellence in their careers.
“As senior officers of the future, you will be expected to assume more demanding leadership roles, where your competencies will be constantly appraised based on the outcome you deliver,” he said.
The RBAF Command and Staff Course is a convenient platform to prepare and equip individuals for the next phase of their career. The new insight, tools, knowledge and experience acquired can subsequently be put into effect.
The cohort was also urged to put the theories they had learnt into practice, and to challenge the conventions from time to time.
“In doing so, you will raise the standards and expectations of those you lead, and facilitate the continuing need for transformation of your respective Armed Forces into organisations that remain ready and prepared to deal with emerging security issues and challenges,” he said.
The acting minister noted that Brunei Darussalam, as a member of the international community, will continue to foster closer defence relations with friendly countries, especially through regional organisations such as ADMM.
“And for that we are pleased to co-host with the United States the Chief of Defence Conference (CHOD) of the Asia- Pacific region next month, in Bandar Seri Begawan.”
Thirty officers of the 4th series of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Command and Staff Course (RBAF CSC) were presented with certificates for the completion of the course yesterday.
The course participants comprised 13 RBAF officers, one Royal Brunei Police Force officer, one Internal Security Department officer and 15 military officers from the Republic of Bangladesh, the People’s Republic of China, India, the Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sultanate of Oman, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of Philippines, Republic of Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States.
The 39-week course was delivered in partnership with New Zealand’s Massey University, which is responsible for delivering the academic component of the Tri-Service staff course, which is joint in nature.
The course’s aims are to broaden the professional and academic knowledge and develop command, analytical and communication skills of mid-level officers in order to prepare them for higher command and staff appointments.