37 officers complete defence course

James Kon

Thirty-seven officers graduated from the 10th Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Command and Staff Course (CSC) and received certificates in a ceremony at the Defence Academy, RBAF yesterday.

Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof was the guest of honour who presented the certificates.

Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Sanggamara Diraja Major General (Rtd) Pengiran Haji Ibnu Ba’asith bin Pengiran Datu Penghulu Pengiran Haji Apong, Commander of the RBAF Major General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sahat, Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohammad Irwan bin Haji Hambali, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence (MinDef) Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Shahril Anwar bin Haji Ma’awiah, Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Datin Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Aziz were present.

Service commanders, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the MinDef, ambassadors, high commissioners, representatives from foreign missions in Brunei Darussalam, defence advisors and defence attachés in Brunei Darussalam, directors, commandants, UBD lecturers, senior RBAF officers and family members of the graduates were also present.

The event began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and Surah Al-‘Alaq by course participant Major Haji Nafisal @ Dedy bin Haji Salim from the Royal Brunei Land Force (RBLF).

Thirty-seven officers graduated from the 10th Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Command and Staff Course (CSC) and received certificates in a ceremony at the Defence Academy, RBAF yesterday. Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof was the guest of honour who presented the certificates. Photo shows Squadron Leader Stephan John Hunt from Royal New Zealand Air Force receiving the Overall Excellence Award.
ABOVE & BELOW: Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Major General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sahat presents the RBAF Commendation Award to Major Dayangku Nur Izzah Nazurah binti Pengiran Haji Mohammad from the Defence Academy, RBAF; and Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Brunei Darussalam Datin Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Aziz presents Academic Excellence Award to Military Expert 5 Foo Changxiong from Singapore Armed Forces. PHOTOS: JAMES KON

Acting Commandant of the Defence Academy RBAF Lieutenant Colonel Hajah Suriyati binti Haji Junaidi said, “This year marks the 10th anniversary of the CSC offered by the RBAF Defence Academy. Receiving 37 students with 13 different nationalities, CSC continues to grow in stature, building on the success of previous courses. CSC provides professional military education to prepare mid-level officers to confront complex security challenges in joint, inter-agency and multinational environment. To achieve this, the CSC maintained the momentum of its reputation through continuous improvement with an eye on the future. This is where RBAF in collaboration with UBD are working tirelessly to ensure the course is relevant in the ever-changing contemporary operating environment with distinct regional and international perspectives.

“The outbreak of the coronavirus,” she said, “has disrupted colleges and universities globally with many institutions cancelling in-person classes. The pandemic also significantly altered nearly every aspect of college life, with cancellation of the international travel programme, and restrictions to class sizes and social events.

She said, “However, this did not dampen the spirit of the course as demonstrated by the creativity and innovation of teaching staff and students. One of the significant game-changer is the rapid adoption of online learning via the popular Zoom platform. Having witnessed the students’ journey for the past 10 months, I can assure you that they have undergone a positive transformation despite the adverse impact of coronavirus.”

Similar with previous years, several special recognition awards were presented to the CSC students.

The Overall Excellence Award went to Squadron Leader Stephan John Hunt from Royal New Zealand Air Force. The RBAF Commendation Award was given to Major Dayangku Nur Izzah Nazurah binti Pengiran Haji Mohammad from Defence Academy, RBAF.

The UBD’s Academic Excellence Award sponsored by Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Sanggamara Diraja Major General (Rtd) Pengiran Haji Ibnu Ba’asith was given to Military Expert 5 Foo Changxiong from Singapore Armed Forces.

The CSC participants comprised officers from the RBAF and the RBPF as well as 15 international participants from Australia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States (US).

The RBAF CSC aims to broaden officers’ perspectives and professional knowledge using tactical and academic approaches and disciplines to study the contemporary strategic environment and its implications of current environment on their practice as defence and
security specialists.