The Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) has retired its entire fleet of MBB Bolkow 105 helicopters after 41 years of service in a ceremony at the Air Movement Centre (AMC), Rimba Air Force Base. The retirement ceremony of the fleet, which operated under No 1 Wing, Operations Group, was attended by officers and personnel of RBAirF, most of whom had served with the Bolkow 105.
Commander of RBAirF Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Mohammad Sharif bin Dato Paduka Haji Ibrahim was the guest of honour.
The ceremony began with a speech from the guest of honour followed by the signing of a replica of BAF 707: Change of Serviceability Log, which marked the official retirement of the fleet. The Commander of RBAirF was then shown a video montage that included a brief history and journey of the Bolkow 105 in RBAirF.
The ceremony continued with the presentation of mementoes from 12 Squadron and 52 Squadron to the RBAirF and the Commander of RBAirF.
The ceremony concluded with a tour that showcased photos of former personnel of 12 Squadron and 52 Squadron and memorial parts of the aircraft, followed by a group photo session with the aircraft and personnel.
The retirement of MBB Bolkow 105 fleet ceremony was hosted by Acting Squadron Commander of 12 Squadron Major (U) Mohd Adi Faiz bin Haji Abu Bakar who has maintained his flying currency since 2014 and has clocked a total of 800 flying hours on the aircraft.
The MBB Bolkow 105 was a German-made aircraft first introduced into No 2 Squadron, Air Wing in 1981 with six helicopters. Before local personnel took over in 1993, the fleet was entirely administered and maintained by REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineering), British Army Loan Service.
Equipped with the Sura Rocket system, it was intended to boost the nation’s defence and organisation’s overall operational preparedness by launching rocket projectiles at ground targets, providing air to ground support as well as close air support for ground troops. In 2003, the system was replaced with a new rocket system from Belgium known as Forges De Zeebrugge (FZ Rocket) that travels twice the speed of sound with up to 10 kilometres radius.