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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Wednesday, 13 October 2021 – A total of 33 officers have completed the 11th Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Command and Staff Course (CSC), in a closing ceremony held virtually for the first time today.  

Present as the guest of honour was Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Retired) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, Minister of Defence II. Also present were Commander of the RBAF, Vice-Chancellor of University Brunei Darussalam (UBD), Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF), Service Commanders, Joint Force Commander, Deputy Permanent Secretaries of Ministry of Defence, Representatives from Foreign Missions in Brunei Darussalam, Resident and Non-Resident Defence Advisers and Defence Attachés to Brunei Darussalam, Directors, Commandants, UBD faculty members as well as senior RBAF officers.

The ceremony commenced with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and Surah Al-Mujadilah verse 11-12 led by the international course participant, Major Muhammad Mushawwir bin Che Azuha, Malaysian Army, who was the winner of the Malaysian Army's Tilawah Al-Quran Competition in 2018 and 2019, as well as the Malaysian Armed Forces' Tilawah Al-Quran Competition runner-up in 2019. 

The ceremony then proceeded with a welcoming remark by Lieutenant Colonel (U) Azmie Iskandar bin Ariffin, Acting Commandant of the Defence Academy RBAF and followed by a speech by Yang Berhormat Minister of Defence II. In his speech, Yang Berhormat Minister of Defence II, congratulated the participants for completing the rigorous and demanding 40-weeks long course under the current new norm and highlighted adaptation as one of the key to embrace the new normal in order to navigate through the changes and challenges posed by the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Yang Berhormat Minister of Defence II also appreciated the collaborative efforts by the Defence Academy RBAF and University of Brunei Darussalam for their continuous efforts to ensure the academic portion of the course remained relevant to the current security landscape. With the completion of the course, he emphasised the need for all participants to think critically and be innovative in resolving complex issues in multiple dimensions and have the intellectual and emotional honesty to speak truth to power once they assume higher appointments in the future. 

Quoting from His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's titah during Brunei Darussalam's 37th National Day this year, Yang Berhormat Minister of Defence II further highlighted the need to develop ourselves and adapt to the ever-changing environment in order to remain resilient and relevant as well as to seize new opportunities amidst the challenges we face. Furthermore, he stressed the need for future leaders to include dynamism for peace rather than conflict alone and hope all the participants will take their own valuable experiences from the course and reflect it positively towards the promotion of global peace and stability.

As with previous years, course certificates and special recognition awards were presented to the course participants. This year, course participants received their certificates virtually, followed by the announcement of the award winners. This year, Major Ho Jin Peng of the Singapore Armed Forces received the Overall Excellence Award and the Academic Excellence Award. Major (U) Arif Shamirul bin Salleh of the Royal Brunei Air Force received the RBAF Commendation Award, while Major (U) Wan Muhammad Azem bin Haji Md Aminuddin of the Royal Brunei Air Force received the Commandant's Award. Both local award recipients are the 'home grown products' from the first intake of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Officer Cadet School in 2008.

Participants who successfully complete the course will be awarded the passed staff course (joint) (psc(j)) and receive the UBD Graduate Diploma in Defence and Security Studies, as well as the opportunity to pursue a Master's degree in Defence and Security Studies.

Officers from the RBAF, RBPF and the Internal Security Department are amongst the 11th RBAF CSC participants, who are joined by 13 international participants from the People's Republic of Bangladesh, the Republic of India, the Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Singapore, Thailand, and the United States.

The 40-week course, delivered in collaboration with UBD, aims to broaden officers' perspectives and professional expertise by exploring current strategic environment issues and their implications for those working in the defence and security fields through tactical and academic approaches and disciplines. Despite the challenges posed of the second wave of COVID-19, the Command and Staff College are able deliver and adapt to the new method of delivering the course via virtual classes.

Since its inception in 2010, the Defence Academy RBAF has successfully conducted training and military education at various levels for the RBAF officers, as well as officers from local security agencies and international officers, in line with the objectives of RBAF to establish RBAF Defence Academy as the world-class professional military education institution.