Royal Brunei Land Forces Brief History
The beginning of the Malay Regiment began on 31 May 1961 or 16 Zulhijjah 1380 of Islamic calendar. The event corresponded with the date of the declaration made by His Majesty Maulana Al-Sultan Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam as the 28th Sultan of Brunei. The first intake of 60 recruits were selected to train at Port Dickson, Malaya. These recruits were selected to train on 4th November 1961 and this marked the new era of bravery and heroism in modern Bruneians. To commemorate this important date, the Royal Brunei Land Forces celebrate its anniverssary every 4th November.
The basic foundation of Brunei Malay Regiment which included the Headquarters, ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Companies was established on 16th June 1962. This organisation comprised of all members from the first, second and third intakes at the time, which were located at Segenting Camp, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan. The Brunei Malay Regiment then left Segenting Camp on 2nd May 1964 and was relocated at the Berakas Camp, Brunei.
In conjunction with the 4th Anniversary of the Brunei Malay Regiment on 31st May 1965, His Majesty Sultan Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien granted the ‘Royal’ title to the Brunei Malay Regiment to become Royal Brunei Malay Regiment. At the end of 1972, the organisation of the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment was drafted again. The Task Force unit was divided into different small units, namely the First Battalion, a small navy at the time called the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment Flotilla and an Air Wing consisting of all rotor aircrafts. The First Battalion Royal Brunei Malay Regiment was the pioneer to the formation of the Royal Brunei Land Forces.
Royal Brunei Malay Regiment flourished with the establishment of the Second Battalion on 2nd January 1975, at a temporary base in Bolkiah Camp. The Second Battalion later moved to Tutong Camp on 10th May 1976.
In accordance with the contemporary development, on 17 September 1991, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam sanctioned for a reorganisation of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. As a result, the Royal Brunei Armed Forces was divided into 5 major units namely the Royal Brunei Land Forces, the Royal Brunei Navy, the Royal Brunei Air Force, Royal Brunei Services Force and Training Centre Royal Brunei Armed Forces. With the increase in the roles and responsibilities of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, a Project Team was set up in 1993 to study for the establishment of a third battalion. His Majesty The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented the establishment of the Third Battalion Royal Brunei Land Forces officially on 31 May 1994 in conjunction with the 33rd Anniversary of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.
In its early formation, the Third Battalion comprised of members from ‘D’ Company First Battalion, ‘F’ Company Second Battalion, the Command Company and the Administration Company of the First and Second Battalions Royal Brunei Land Forces. Initially Third Battalion was located at Penanjong Garrison, in Tutong District while waiting for the completion of its permanent camp in Lumut, Belait District. Now Third Batalion is relocated to its designated area at Lumut Camp on 21st June 2007.
On 24 Mac 1995, Support Unit came under the command of the Royal Brunei Land Forces and was renamed as Support Battalion. Logistic Depot and Land Engineering came under the command of the Royal Brunei Land Forces on 2nd January 2009.
On July 22, 2011 Support Squadron and Squadron Fast Assault Boat (FAB) of the Royal Brunei Navy was absorbed into the Royal Brunei Land Forces units and was renamed River Support Squadron to enhance the capabilities of the Royal Brunei Land Forces. The units above absorbed to the Royal Brunei Land Forces units are to further strengthen the ability of Royal Brunei Land Forces units in carrying out certain roles on providing capabilities niche in the national teams, as contained in the Defence White Paper.
In accordance with development to further stabilize RBLF effectiveness. The infiltration of both Signal Squadron and Force Transport of the RBAF were implemented on the 03rd September 2013, meanwhile the formation of Echo Company First Battalion and Combat Service Support Headquarters takes place on the 4th November 2013 on the occasion with the RBLF 52nd anniversary. The infiltration and formation of this new establishment were in line with the Royal Speech Consent of KDYMM and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam in conjunction with the RBAF 52nd anniversary on 31st May 2013.