INTRODUCTION OF JOINT FORCE HEADQUARTERS
On 14 December 2007 Joint Force Headquarters was established. It is an important organization within the RBAF, particularly in the planning and execution of operations as well as military exercises that involve other security agencies and foreign armed forces. JFHQ become the centre of information from all units under Royal Brunei Armed Forces whereas all units have their own representatives to be in charge in order to keep update and inform any matters of their administration, logistics, training and exercises to JFHQ.
Units Involved RBLF, RBN, RBAirF, SF.
The ideas of the establishment of Joint Force Headquarters become essential especially in terms of joint planning, the conduct of operations, overall capability and policy development as stated in Defence White Paper 2011.
Furthermore, according from His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's Titah (Royal Speech), Defence Minister and RBAF Supreme Commander in conjunction with Opening Ceremony of the Defence Staff College Course on 25 November 2010:
"… The Royal Brunei Armed Forces has to be smart in adopting a practical approach, emphasizing on inter-agency and multi-national operations, especially in the concept of Jointly and Joint Operational Planning".
Here, it showed an essential principle underpinning the recent development of the RBAF has been the adoption of a much more integrated approach to planning and operations. Thus, the Joint Force Commander has been appointed, the Joint Operations Centre is being developed as the nerve centre of the force and significant progress has been made with introducing the essential C4I capabilities to underpin a networked force.
Joint Force Headquarters have also kept abreast with the current developments of the armed forces including the phased restructuring of the RBAF. According from His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's Titah (Royal Speech), Defence Minister and RBAF Supreme Commander during the RBAF 52nd anniversary celebration on 1st June 2013, His Majesty called for the urgent set up of a Joint Doctrine and Warfare Centre as an operational institution.
"I am confident this development will be able to trigger a change in mindset and a paradigm shift," said the monarch.
With the setting up of a new department called the Joint Doctrine and Warfare Centre (JDWC), it has been absorbed under the Joint Force Headquarters as an operational institution tasked with "shifting the mindset and paradigm" of the military.
318 Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sahat
Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah is the current Joint Force Commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces since 19 December 2014 and he was enlisted into the Royal Brunei Armed Forces in September 1988. In 1989, he graduated from the Initial Officer Training (IOT) at the Royal Air Force (RAF) Cranwell, United Kingdom where he also did his Basic Flying Training (BFT) in the same year. He then went on to do his Advanced Flying Training (AFT) at RAF Valley in 1990, and the Tactical Weapon Unit (TWU) at RAF Chivenor from 1990 to 1991. On his return to Brunei, he flew the BO-105 helicopter from 1992-1997. In 1997, Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah went to UK to do the Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) course at RAF Topcliffe & RAF Linton on-Ouse. On completion of the course, he was instructing on the then newly introduced Pilatus PC-7 MKII in Brunei. He became the Flight Commander Fixed Wing (Flt Comd FW) and later became the Officer Commanding (OC) of the Flying Training School (FTS) in 2000.
In 2002, Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah attended the 6th Advanced Command & Staff Course (ACSC) at Joint Services Command & Staff College, UK where he graduated with the Master of Arts awarded by King’s College London. On his return to Brunei in 2003, he held the post of Staff Officer Grade 2 (SO2) Operation in the Royal Brunei Air Force. In 2005, he was posted to the Directorate of Operation at the Ministry of Defence as Staff Officer Grade 1 (SO1) Operation and was responsible for coordinating, planning and monitoring all RBAF operations. He was then posted back to the Royal Brunei Air Force in 2007 to take the post of the Commanding Officer (CO) of Operation Wing where he was responsible for all the operational flying assets in the Royal Brunei Air Force.
In 2010, he attended the National Defence College (NDC) in India and was conferred by the University of Madras, the Master of Philsophy (MPhil) with First Class in Defence and Strategic Studies. On his return from India, Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah became the Chief of Staff (COS) of Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) from the end of 2010 to early Nov 2012. On 15 August 2015, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam bestowed the Darjah Pahlawan Negara Brunei (PSPNB) Yang Amat Perkasa Darjah Pertama which carries the title Dato Seri Pahlawan. Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah is married to Datin Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abd Aziz and is blessed with 2 children.