Concerted effort needed against new challenges

Commander of the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Mohammad Sharif bin Dato Paduka Haji Ibrahim shared on the impacts and challenges of COVID-19 towards RBAirF by acknowledging the adoption of new norms, the establishment of RBAirF Task Force and employment of RBAirF personnel to assist the government effort in battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commander said this during the virtual 18th ASEAN Air Force Chiefs Conference (AACC) recently.

He said, despite this, RBAirF maintains a high level of readiness to carry out humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations such as MEDEVAC in accordance with Ministry of Health standard operating procedures and guidelines.

Technology is also a rising demand due to the need to conduct video teleconference as virtual meetings to adhere to the SOP to decrease physical contact and meet ups. This makes cybersecurity a significant factor in ensuring the secure usage of the network, the commander said.

He also shared his views from the outcomes of the 8th ASEAN Air Force Education and Training (AAFET) that through this viable platform, collective sharing of best practices and collaboration among the ASEAN Air Forces would be beneficial in moving towards a more practical cooperation.

Commander of the Royal Brunei Air Force Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Mohammad Sharif bin Dato Paduka Haji Ibrahim during the 18th ASEAN Air Force Chiefs Conference. PHOTO: RBAIRF

He relayed on the initiatives outlined during recent 15th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) on the establishment of regional ASEAN Cyber Defence Network (ACDN) which also complemented by the new ADMM Cyber Security and Information Centre of Excellence. These initiatives could be utilised as an exchange platform for knowledge and best practices by the ASEAN Air Forces to build confidence and preparedness as well as maintaining collaboration and developing new avenues.

Themed ‘Optimising Capabilities and Cooperation Against New Challenges’, the event was hosted by the Royal Thai Air Force, Kingdom of Thailand.

RBAirF Acting Chief of Staff and RBAirF Staff Officers Grade 3 Intelligence and Security also attended.

The conference was participated by the 10 ASEAN Air Force Chiefs and began with welcoming remarks from the 18th AACC Chairman, Air Chief Marshal Airbull Suttiwan, Commander-in-Chief, Royal Thai Air Force.

The conference also saw a presentation on the outcomes of the 8th AAFET Air Working Group meeting, which took place from August 31 to September 1.

The conference concluded with the handing over of the AACC Chairmanship to the Lao Air Force, scheduled in Lao People’s Democratic Republic in 2022.