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British Forces Brunei

British Forces Brunei
MinistryofDefence.svg
The British Tri-Service badge
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch British Army Flag British Army
Royal Air Force Ensign Royal Air Force
Part ofUK Ministry of Defence
Garrison/HQSeria

British Forces Brunei (BFB) is the name given to the British Armed Forces presence in Brunei. Since the handover ceremony of Hong Kong in 1997, the garrison in Brunei is the only remaining British military base in the Far East (and one of only three East of Suez, along with Diego Garcia and HMS Juffair).[1]

History

Members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers taking down shelters before commencing the last day of live firing in the jungles of Brunei in 2016.

The BFB garrison came about in 1963, when British troops were moved there from Singapore to quell a revolt against Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III in December 1962.[2]

From there, British forces have been involved in several conflicts, including helping to quell the Brunei Revolt of 1962 and the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. Since Brunei's independence in 1984, forces have been stationed there at the request of the current Sultan, in a renewable agreement lasting five years at a time. The forces stationed in Brunei are available to assist the Sultan,[3] but are also available for deployment overseas with other elements of the British Armed Forces if needed. As recompense, the Sultan pays to help support the British presence.[4][5]

Structure

BFB is located at Seria and is centred on a light infantry battalion, which will be one of the two battalions of the Royal Gurkha Rifles. The battalion stationed in Brunei operates as the British Army's acclimatised Far East reserve,[6] and is available for overseas deployment to the Far East and beyond—the Brunei-based battalion has been deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Herrick on several occasions, as well as to East Timor.[7]

In addition, Brunei serves as one of the British Army's major training areas, specialising in jungle warfare, with the Jungle Warfare Training School (also known as Training Team Brunei) running the Jungle Warfare Advisor's Course.[8]

Off-duty life

The British Forces Broadcasting Service broadcasts to the garrison, carrying programmes from both BFBS Radio 1 and BFBS Radio Gurkha. The Hornbill School, operated by Service Children's Education, is a primary school for children of services personnel.[11]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ British Army Deployments - Retrieved 20 April 2007
  2. ^ Brunei Garrison Homepage - Retrieved 19 December 2013
  3. ^ Royal Gurkha Rifles Homepage
  4. ^ Brunei a throwback to an age of absolute monarchy, David Eimer, Daily Telegraph, 27 October 2013
  5. ^ Bowie, Nile (18 March 2018). "China throws sinking Brunei a lifeline". Asia Times Online. The sultan, the world’s second-longest reigning monarch, also directly finances Britain’s military presence and entrusts a Gurkha unit retired from the British army with his personal security.
  6. ^ 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles
  7. ^ Gurkhas Join Australians on E. Timor Force, Los Angeles Times, 17 September 1999
  8. ^ a b British Military Garrison Brunei, British Army website Archived 13 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "His Majesty visits the First Battalion, the Royal Gurkha Rifles at Tuker Lines, Seria". British High Commission Bandar Seri Begawan. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  10. ^ "6-10 Flights". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  11. ^ Farewell Ceremony for Members of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles, Radio Televisyen Brunei, 18 June 2007

External links