Deal with complex challenges through education: Minister

James Kon

Modern militaries are facing an increasingly challenging and complex security environment. As such, military officers need to be equipped to deal with uncertainty.

This was underscored by Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof in his speech as guest of honour at the graduation ceremony of the 10th Command and Staff Course at the Defence Academy in Tanah Jambu yesterday, adding that there is no better way of equipping military officers than through education.

Thirty-seven officers graduated and received their certificates.

The minister recalled His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s titah during the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 where His Majesty highlighted the importance of close collaboration between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries in response to the global health emergency. His Majesty said continued cooperation on response efforts would ensure a coordinated approach in containing the pandemic domestically as well as preventing its spread globally.

The minister said, “The course is one of the platforms to nurture leaders to overcome differences and promote cooperation and achieve common goals as the world is seeing challenging times. It is good to see that the course was not interrupted by COVID-19 as lectures shifted to a virtual platform.”

Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof making a speech. PHOTO: JAMES KON

The minister also lauded the course for staying true to its mandate in providing academic and operational training for mid-level officers of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), government ministries, departments and agencies as well as military officers from friendly nations for 10 years.

“The course holds its pride and reputation with the continued participation of international students from 17 countries – Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom (UK), United States (US) and Vietnam. It is a reflection of the close ties that exist between RBAF and the armed forces of various countries. To the graduates, beyond professional exchanges, the friendship and ties with your fellow coursemates can prove invaluable in the future. Your participation in the course is a testament of our national security policy aspirations – to promote international peace, friendship and cooperation.”

The minister said, “Graduating from the course should adequately prepare you for higher appointment within the RBAF and armed forces of your countries. The course modules provided you with the fundamentals in military knowledge, competencies in operations, national and security interests and the changing geopolitical environment. However, there will be gaps to fill when you assume your command and staff appointments as the scope and requirements of military operations (traditional and non-traditional) have expanded in an increasingly connected world.”