RBAF Personnel Back Home From UNIFIL Mission
Posted on July 31, 2012, Tuesday
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Ten Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) personnel deployed under the command of Malaysian Company 7 (MALCOY 7) returned home safely yesterday after maintaining peace and stability in Lebanon, in line with the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Borneo Bulletin reported.
Welcoming the personnel at the Royal Brunei Air Force Base in Rimba was the Commander of RBAF Major General Dato Paduka Seri Hj Aminuddin Ihsan bin POKSM Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin.
Also present were the Defence Executive Committee Members, Service Commanders, Military and Civilian Directors, senior officers, officers of the Ministry of Defence and RBAF as well as family members of the 10 personnel – Major Muhd Suwardi Ariffin bin Pehin Datu Laksamana Dato Paduka Haji Abd Latif, Captain Pg Hamzah bin Pg Ahmad Damit, First Warrant Officer Razali bin Haji Matusin, Staff Sergeant Pg Salamat bin Pg Zulkiflee, Sergeant Hamdani bin Mohd Ali, Sergeant Haji Sharani bin Haji Shandan, Corporal Eirwan bin Lasim, Corporal Awang Haji Zul Amin bin Awang Basar @ Besar, Corporal Daniel bin Kuchil and Lance Corporal Hapolowadi bin Bidin.
The seventh contingent had left for the mission on July 12, 2011.
Team leader Major Muhd Suwardi in a brief interview said that throughout their UNIFIL mission, the RBAF personnel did not encounter any incidents that could have endangered their lives. There were threats to their group from the locals and outsiders but these were very minimal and no one was against MALCOY 7.
The hardest part of the mission was being away from their beloved ones as when they arrived in Lebanon last year it was the start of Ramadhan and followed by Hari Raya, but thankfully with the Internet and latest technologies available, they were able to communicate with their families through Skype and Whatsapp.
He further noted that being the lucky few selected to represent RBAF not only under MALCOY but also UN Interim Force in Lebanon, they had gained valuable experience as they were not only exposed to how Malaysian armed forces work but also other forces in the UNIFIL.
There are a number of countries under UNIFIL thus there are some valuable things they have learned that could be applied here.
The 10 RBAF personnel were divided into groups involving other members with each given their specific tasks.
While Major Muhd Suwardi was attached to the operations side, the others had responsibilities including manning checkpoints and patrolling designated areas under MALCOY 7.
Meanwhile team member, Lance Corporal Hapolowadi Bidin said that being the most junior in the group, he along with his fellow colleagues learned a lot of new things during their mission with the MALCOY 7 including the laws of the United Nations.
There was good teamwork among the UNIFIL members and they worked together well in going through challenges they come across while on duty.
Being one of the lucky ones given the opportunity to represent the nation in the peacekeeping mission was the most memorable experience for him as it was no easy task being in the mission and the valuable knowledge and experience gained do not come by often.