| Syazwani Hj Rosli |
THE Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Defence Academy has achieved a number of successes, the most notable being producing new generations of staff-qualified officers, said Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof.
The minister, as the guest of honour, addressed 31 graduates of the 8th Royal Brunei Armed Forces Command and Staff Course (RBAF CSC) during the graduation ceremony at the RBAF Defence Academy in Kampong Tanah Jambu yesterday morning.
The RBAF CSC is a 40-week course delivered in partnership with New Zealand’s Massey University. Among its aims are to broaden mid-level officers’ professional and academic knowledge, and develop their command, analytical and communication skills to prepare them for higher appointments.
This year’s course participants comprised officers from the RBAF, Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF), the Prime Minister’s Office, and 14 international participants from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, the UK and the US.
The minister added that the RBAF CSC has been integral in bolstering defence diplomacy, one of the seven key result areas that he shared during his address at the 14th Legislative Council (LegCo) session this year, in view that there are 14 international officers among the graduates for this year’s batch.
Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi also reminded graduates of the value of the whole-of-nation approach and the importance of high-quality human resources in helping the country achieve its Vision 2035 goals.
Drawing upon the lessons of the Hijrah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), he told them, “Hijrah is not just a physical travel from one place to another. The deeper and more sacrosanct meaning of it is the transit from one state of being to another. In your case with the completion of the course – going from being less knowing to becoming more knowledgeable. Be humble with this knowledge and make good use of it.”
The Minister of Defence II and Brunei Relationship Manager at the Centre for Defence and Security Studies, Massey University, New Zealand Phil Morrison presented awards to outstanding graduates.
The RBAF CSC Commendation Award went to 673 Major (U) Hasnul Alwe bin Haji Matassan of the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF); the RBAF CSC Overall Excellence Award went to Major Ee Pinn Hwee Joe of the Republic of Singapore Air Force; while the Massey University Academic Excellence Award went to Commander Ian Fyfe-Green of the Royal Navy.
Commissioner of the RBPF Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy bin Haji Muhd Shah Al-Islam, service commanders, high commissioners, ambassadors, representatives of foreign missions in Brunei Darussalam, defence advisers and defence attachés in Brunei Darussalam, permanent secretaries, deputy permanent secretaries as well as commandants, directors, and senior officers of the RBAF and family members of the graduates were also present.