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Military in Brunei


The Royal Brunei Armed Forces was formed on the 31 May 1961. It was honoured with the royal title on the 31 May 1965 when the word 'Diraja' (Royal) was added to the title. It was then known as Askar Melayu Diraja Brunei (Royal Brunei Malay Regiment). Since Independence Day, 1 January 1984, the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment has been renamed as the Angkatan Bersenjata Diraja Brunei (Royal Brunei Armed Forces in Malay). Due to its history, only Brunei citizens of the Malay ethnicity (Bumiputera) can enlist in the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. The Malay ethnicity comprises the Belait, Bisaya, Brunei, Dusun, Kedayan, Murut and Tutong indigenous races as defined in the Brunei constitution. Military service is not compulsory for any segment of the population and there is no military draft in Brunei.

The Royal Brunei Armed Forces is divided into five branches, namely:

• Royal Brunei Land Forces (Tentera Darat Diraja Brunei);
• Royal Brunei Air Force (Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei);
• Royal Brunei Navy (Tentera Laut Diraja Brunei);
• Support Services;
• Training Institute.

The Royal Brunei Land Forces 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, and by assisting the Royal Brunei Police in maintaining law and order.

The Royal Brunei Air Force is the air force of the Sultanate of Brunei. It is mainly based at the Rimba Air Base within the Brunei International Airport. The role of the air force is to defend the national airspace and to provide air surveillance of the land and maritime borders. The air force was formed on 1 October 1 1991 from the Air Wing of the armed forces. The Air Wing of the armed forces had operated helicopters (the Bell 205) since 1965. The Royal Air Force provides human resources specialists such as pilots and aircraft technicians to assist the Royal Brunei Air Force.

The Royal Brunei Navy is the naval defence force of Brunei. It is a small but relatively well-equipped force whose main responsibility is to conduct search and rescue missions and to deter and defend the Brunei waters against attack mounted by sea borne forces. The navy was established on the 14 June 1965 is based in Muara, which is situated 4 km from Muara Town with the majority of the crews being Malays. Since 1977, The navy has been equipped with missile gun boats and other coastal patrol craft. All the ship's names are prefixed 'KDB' as in Kapal Diraja Brunei (Royal Brunei Ship).

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