RBAF: Work together to guard against terrorism

National 2 minutes, 30 seconds

BRUNEI-MUARA

THE Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) commander yesterday called for more extensive collaborations in protecting maritime routes against the spread of terrorism in the region.

Speaking at the opening of a maritime security and counter-terrorism exercise involving 18 countries, Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Major General Dato Paduka Seri Mohd Tawih Abdullah said maritime routes have given rise to radical influence in the region.

“Terrorism is a threat that one cannot underestimate,” he said, adding that maritime routes were used by radical elements as a means for transportation and financial gain.

In ensuring maritime routes are safe for all, he said more extensive collaborations are required such as combined expert working groups.

The commander also pointed out that nations today face greater pressure than before.

During the ceremony at the Multinational Coordination Centre, he said security challenges have proven to be more complex due to its transnational nature.

With the rise of globalisation and rapid development of technology, he said armed forces are constantly tested and their capabilities stretched as they are required to conduct multiple combat and interagency operations in countering various emerging security threats.

Pehin Major General Dato Mohd Tawih noted these challenges are dealt with “while enduring the economic slowdown and its implications on the security of our countries”.

“There is so much we can learn from each other and resolve challenges together. The most effective way to do so is through clear and open communication. By ensuring we communicate with one another, we are able to build trust,” he said.

Through communication, he elaborated countries can also gain a common ground, develop effective partnerships and forge bonds of cooperation.

He believed the ongoing multilateral exercise co-hosted by Brunei and Singapore under the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus provided a much-needed platform for transparency and open communication to reduce any tension, enhance trust and build cooperation.

“This is truly a remarkable and significant exercise, especially in our current state of maritime security and terrorism threats,” he said.

About 3,000 personnel, 18 ships, 16 helicopters, two maritime patrol aircraft and Special Forces from the participating ASEAN nations and its dialogue partners are currently deployed for the ADMM- Plus exercise.

The commander hoped the exercise will serve as “a model for others to emulate in our pursuit towards sustainable peace and security for the benefit of mankind globally”.

Scheduled to begin in Brunei and conclude in Singapore, the participating ships will take part in maritime security training in the sultanate before conducting drills en route to the island city-state for a counter-terrorism scenario.

“Undoubtedly, the interaction and exchange of best practices among the participating nations will be extremely valuable,” said the exercise co-director in his welcoming remarks.

Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Hj Hamzah Hj Sahat, who is also the RBAF Joint Force commander, added the participants will have the opportunity to interoperate whilst achieving the exercise objectives.

Among the aims of the exercise is to provide a better understanding of the ADMM-Plus nations’ capabilities in responding to security challenges.

The Brunei Times