BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Make use of technology to address workforce shortages, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah told the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) on Thursday.

In a titah at the 19th Sovereign’s Parade, the monarch said technological developments can help offset the lack of manpower.

Technology can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of management, administration and usability, he said.

It can also help RBAF deal with the new challenge of cybersecurity threats, His Majesty added.

The Sovereign’s Parade marked the end of a 52-week military training for 73 officer cadets, including 21 women at the RBAF Defence Academy in Kampung Tanah Jambu.

His Majesty, HRH Crown Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah and HRH Prince ‘Abdul Mateen at the 19th Sovereign’s Parade. Photo: Infofoto

Of the total, 40 cadet officers were commissioned as Royal Brunei Army officers, 14 as Royal Brunei Navy Officers and another 19 were commissioned as Royal Brunei Air Force officers.

The training, which began on January 30 last year, aimed to improve the officers’ quality of leadership, character and intellect.

His Majesty said Brunei was not exempted from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as the conduct of military training had to be adjusted.

Alhamdulilah, military training is still ongoing with different methods, namely alternative learning through the use of technology which has been successfully implemented,” the monarch said.

This shows that training and other courses can be delivered through digital methods effectively, he added.

Officer cadets march during the 19th Sovereign’s Parade at RBAF Defence Academy. Photo: Infofoto

The sultan congratulated the officer cadets for their perseverance in completing their training.

“Today marks the beginning of your career as a certified RBAF officer and as a leader. It requires a strong commitment and integrity, besides being a role model to others under your wing,” he said.

His Majesty said he’s proud of the RBAF Defence Academy’s transformation, as shown through its collaboration with higher education institutions and capability in attracting local and foreign trainees.

The RBAF Defence Academy celebrated its 10th anniversary on November 25 last year.

In the past decade, the defence academy has trained 2,216 local and foreign military officers  as well as produced 605 officer cadets.

The academy also offers diploma courses as well as a master’s degree in defence and security studies in collaboration with Universiti Brunei Darussalam.