Brunei, Australia expand bilateral defence ties

Brunei Darussalam’s Ministry of Defence and Australia’s Department of Defence conducted the 18th Joint Defence Working Committee (JDWC) meeting virtually yesterday to further strengthen bilateral defence relations between both countries and identify areas of defence and military cooperation.

The meeting was co-chaired by Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Strategy) at the Ministry of Defence Haji Adi Ihram bin Dato Paduka Haji Mahmud and Department of Defence Assistant Secretary for South East Asia at International Policy Division David Lewis.

Australian Defence Advisor to Brunei Darussalam Lieutenant Colonel Dan Hauser; Brunei Darussalam’s Defence Advisor to Australia Commander Sonny Iskandar bin Rasani as well as civilian and military senior officers from both countries were also in attendance.

Both sides discussed bilateral defence matters pertaining to exchanges at various levels including courses, training and exercises as well as defence cooperation matters, including cooperation in the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM-Plus initiatives such as the ASEAN Direct Communications Infrastructure (ADI), and the 4th cycle of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Military Medicine, which is currently co-chaired by Brunei Darussalam and Australia from 2021 to 2024.

The JDWC between Brunei and Australia was established through the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Defence Cooperation between the Government of 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 and the Government of Australia signed on May 10, 1999.

The MoU serves as a framework for fostering closer defence relations and cooperation between the defence establishments and armed forces of both countries, such as courses and training, military exercises, exchange of information on matters pertaining to security and exchange of visits between the respective defence and military senior officials.

Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Strategy) at the Ministry of Defence Haji Adi Ihram bin Dato Paduka Haji Mahmud and Department of Defence Assistant Secretary for South East Asia at International Policy Division David Lewis during the meeting. PHOTO: MINDEF