Royal Brunei Land Forces

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Tentera Darat Diraja Brunei
RBLF badge.gif
Coat of Arms of the Royal Brunei Land Forces
Active 31 May 1961-
Country Brunei
Branch Army
Role 1st Battalion - Light Role
2nd Battalion - Light Role
3rd Battalion - Light Role
Support Battalion - Armoured/Engineers
Size Four battalions
Part of Royal Brunei Armed Forces
Garrison/HQ 1st Battalion - Berakas
2nd Battalion - Tutong
3rd Battalion - Penanjong
Support Battalion - Penanjong
Commanders
Current
commander
Brigadier General Yussof Abdul Rahman

The Royal Brunei Land Forces (Malay: Tentera Darat Diraja Brunei, abbreviated TDDB) is the land component of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. The RBLF has responsibility for maintaining the territorial defence of Brunei, both from attack from outsiders,[1] and by assisting the Royal Brunei Police in maintaining law and order.[2]

History[edit]

The Royal Brunei Land Forces was formed in May 1961 with the formation of the Brunei Malay Regiment, when the first intake of 60 recruits began training. The formal foundation of the regiment occurred in June 1962 when men of the first three intakes were formed into the regimental headquarters and three rifle companies.[3] In 1965, the regiment received the royal prefix, becoming the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment. Initially stationed at Port Dickson in Malaya, the regiment was soon moved to a purpose built barracks in Brunei itself. The Royal Brunei Malay Regiment established two new units, the Boat Section and the Air Service in 1965 to increase its capabilities further. These two units, together with the infantry, were amalgamated into a single task force in 1966.[4]

In 1972, the regiment's structure was changed, with the infantry, aviation and naval sections split into separate units once again. The infantry companies became the 1st Battalion, Royal Brunei Malay Regiment, with a total of five rifle companies. Three years later, the 2nd Battalion, Royal Brunei Malay Regiment was formed by deamalgamating B Company and E Company of the 1st Battalion.[4]

In 1984, Brunei achieved full independence from the United Kingdom. At that time, the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment was renamed as the Royal Brunei Land Forces, part of the wider Royal Brunei Armed Forces. In 1990, the Support Battalion was formed comprising an armoured reconnaissance squadron, air defence battery and combat engineer squadron, together with maintenance and administrative support. In 1994, the 3rd Battalion, Royal Brunei Land Forces was formed from members of D Company, 1st Battalion RBLF and F Company, 2nd Battalion RBLF, while the air defence battery and engineering workshop were transferred from the Support Battalion to the Royal Brunei Air Force and the Support Service respectively.[5]

Organisation[edit]

Bruneian soldiers and US Marines during CARAT 2011 joint exercises.

The Royal Brunei Land Forces (RBLF) is under the command of Brigadier General Dato Seri Pahlawan Hj Yussof.[6]

The Royal Brunei Land Forces is organised as 4 separate battalions:[7]

  • First Battalion
  • Second Battalion
  • Third Battalion
  • Support Battalion

First Battalion[edit]

The First Battalion was established in 1962; the organisation consisted of the first three intakes undertaking basic military training. At the beginning, the organisation was set up in Segenting Camp, Port Dickson, Malaysia. After the development of Berakas Garrison in 1975, the organisation was then changed to the First Battalion Land Force. Under the command of Colonel J. F. Davis, the force consisted of the various departments. These departments included Markas Company, Rifle Company A, B, C, D and E.[8]

Second Battalion[edit]

The Second Battalion was formed on 2 January 1975, it resided temporary at the Bolkiah Garrison. Before this, the Battalion was comprised Company B and E of the First Battalion under the command of then Commanding Officer Leftenan Colonel A.E. Hibbert. The battalion moved to Tutong Camp on the 10th of May 1976. Following the formation of the Second Battalion, Pengiran Ratna Indera Lieutenant Colonel Pengiran Dato Setia Ibnu bin Pengiran Datu Penghulu Pengiran Haji Apong was then appointed as the commanding officer in charge.[9]

Third Battalion[edit]

The third battalion was formed and established on 31 May 1994 . The battalion was made up of D Company from the First Battalion and F Company of the Second Battalion and the Command Company from the First and Second Battalion. Major Shahlan bin Hidup was the first appointed Commanding Officer in charge of the Battalion. Previously based in Penanjong Garrison,[10] as of 21 June 2007, the Battalion has relocated to a new camp at Lumut in the Belait District.[11]

Support Battalion[edit]

The Support Unit was originally established based on 5 major units namely Armour Reconnaissance Squadron, Combat Engineer Squadron, Air Defence Battery, Penanjong Workshop and Penanjong Garrison Headquarters. It was reorganised on 2 January 1990, and officially established as the Support Battalion which comprises 3 major unit namely, Armour Reconnaissance Squadron, Combat Engineer Squadron and Company Headquarters Support Battalion.[12]

Equipment[edit]

The RBLF uses a mix of imported equipment from various suppliers (mainly British, but French and German as well). This includes:

Small arms: L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle, M16 rifle, SAR 21 and reports that the Pindad SS2 has been ordered.

Future Equipment[edit]

There are reports that Brunei is or was interested in Indonesian APC's to replace the VAB APC[14]

Brunei has also shown interest in Russian equipment[15]

International Ties[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

The Royal Brunei Land Forces has significant ties to the British Army, due in no small part to the fact that there is a permanent British garrison in Brunei. Following the Brunei Revolt in 1962, an agreement was signed between Brunei and the United Kingdom that a battalion of Gurkhas would be stationed in the country to protect various British interests, most notably the major oil installations at Seria. The current garrison consists of a battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, plus a flight of helicopters from the Army Air Corps in support. However, Brunei is also used by the British Army in general for training in jungle warfare. The presence of one of the British Army's few significant overseas garrisons provides an opportunity to assist the RBLF in its training.

Other Nations[edit]

The RBLF maintains close ties with many other nations, both in the South-East Asia region and elsewhere. The RBLF conducts exercises with the Malaysian Army[16] and the Singapore Army[17] on a regular basis. The RBLF has also conducted regular exercises with the armies of both Australia, New Zealand and Thailand,[18] while the United States Marine Corps conducts annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) in Brunei.[19]

Alliances[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
Works cited
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2012). The Military Balance 2012. London: IISS. ISSN 0459-7222. 

External links[edit]