‘Drill designed to better prepare for non-conventional security threats’

, National 2 minutes, 4 seconds

BRUNEI-MUARA

THE fifth military exercise was designed to better prepare for “non-conventional” security threats and improve communication among personnel and the public, the Royal Brunei Armed Forces commander said.

Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Major General Dato Paduka Seri Mohd Tawih Abdullah said this year’s exercise dubbed the Hikmat Bersatu Exercise 2016 focused on “unconventional threats” such as terrorism.

In an interview with the media yesterday during the fifth day of the exercise, he said the military is primarily designed to counter “conventional” threats, as terrorism and riots are not usually classified as conventional or traditional threats for the military.

“These are the common scenarios that we see almost every day in the media (and) terrorist attacks are happening all around the world, and they can happen anywhere at any time.

“So these are realistic security challenges that we as security personnel are expected to be able to contain or handle,” he added.

The RBAF commander went on to say that another aspect that was focused in this year’s exercise was communication between units under the RBAF as well as with the media and public.

He said communication was one of the issues that was raised during the Eksesais Perisai Kebangsaan in October last year.

“Although the Hikmat Bersatu Exercise is a continuation of the Eksesais Perisai Kebangsaan, these exercises operate on different levels (because) the (latter) was set at a multi-agency level whereas the Hikmat Bersatu Exercise is set as an RBAF or RBAF-led operation,” he said.

“In terms of communication between units (of the RBAF), we have less of a problem (because) the RBAF has a standard set of procedures and common means of communication,” he continued.

This is unlike during the Eksesais Perisai Kebangsaan, where the different agencies had different means of communication, the commander said.

Pehin Dato Mohd Tawih added that the this year’s exercise included scenarios that tested the military personnel to better manage the media.

There were scenarios that encourage residents of Brunei to be the eyes and ears of the government by reporting any suspicious activities in their village, he said, adding that RBAF wishes for more public participation in the country's security mechanisms.

“We still need to share information (and) we still need to coordinate our actions and reach out to other stakeholders including the public,” he said.

“This is to instil confidence among them (the public and stakeholders) that the security forces (in Brunei) are in control of the situation,” added the commander.

The Brunei Times