Bandar Seri Begawan: Towards the collaboration of establishing the infrastructure and command centre of the National Coastal Surveillance System, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was yesterday signed between the government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, through the National Maritime Coordination Centre (NMCC) of the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Royal Brunei Technical Services, as Borneo Bulletin reported today.

NMCC is a project under the Prime Minister’s Office established to coordinate, assist and collate information amongst maritime enforcement agencies in the country to efficiently conduct maritime security monitoring and enforcement with the support of the latest technology system at best value for money.

The NMCC, formed in February 2010, is the information-sharing centre for security-related activities in the maritime areas either at the national or regional level.

The responsibility of NMCC covers exclusive economic zone and waters and Brunei Bay. Effective surveillance and coordination among the enforcement agencies are critical in ensuring safety in the maritime zone of the country.

Utilising the latest technology, especially coastal survelliance radar and command and control as the key enabler, is one of the core objectives in the management plan of NMCC.

The system would enable NMCC to unite maritime domain awareness in real time to be shared with other maritime enforcement agencies. The system aspires to assist in decision-making and more effective response action in any maritime incidence.

At the same time, it would also maximise assets used by various agencies to act in a more integrated manner.

Various agencies are involved in maritime surveillance activities against smuggling in the Brunei waters, prohibited activities, illegal and uncontrolled fishing activities either by local or foreign fishermen, pirate activities and activities of maritime terrorists. NMCC also coordinates emergency assistance such as search and rescue operations at sea.

Guest of honour to witness the signing was Permanent Secretary (Security and Enforcement) at the Prime Minister’s Office Hj Hamdan bin Hj Abu Bakar.

The signatories were represented by Col (L) Nooradin bin Hj Yaakub of NMCC and witnessed by Cpt (L) Ezzadin bin Tahir, and Hjh Rosmawati bte Hj Manaf of RBTS and witnessed by Reuben Fan.

NMCC Director Col Nooradin Hj Yaakub highlighted that the establishment of the NMCC is a crucial aspect of Brunei’s maritime security domain and also takes into consideration the interest of many stakeholders, including the RBAF, Marine Police, Marine Department, Fisheries Department, Royal Brunei Customs and Excise Department as well as Immigration and National Registration Department.

Meanwhile, RBTS CEO Hjh Rosmawati bte Hj Manaf shared that RBTS role as the project manager and technology provider will assist NMCC to source for the best technical solution in line with its `scoping’ requirement, and transfer of technology and recruitment, which are among the spinoffs expected from this important project.