British Forces Brunei

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British Forces Brunei
The British Tri-Service badge
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom Royal Navy
British Army Flag British Army
Royal Air Force Ensign Royal Air Force
Part of UK Ministry of Defence
Garrison/HQ Seria

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]


A patrol from the Queen's Own Highlanders searches the jungle around Seria by boat for rebels in hiding and for arms and ammunition in 1962.
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 1959, when British troops were moved there from Singapore to quell a revolt against Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III .[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]


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,[5] 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[6] and Sierra Leone.

The infantry battalion is supported by a small number of garrison troops who are permanently stationed in Brunei.

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 and the Military Tracking Instructors Course in conjunction with the infantry battalion. The garrison counts approximately 900 personnel.

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.[7]

See also


External links