The “War Eagles” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 joined His Majesty, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah in celebrating the 62nd anniversary of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, May 31. The anniversary of the RBAF is held May 31st to commemorate the formation of the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment in 1961. The relationship between the U.S. and Brunei began when USS Constitution sailed into Brunei Bay on April 6, 1845. This visit resulted in Brunei and the U.S. forming the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Commerce and Navigation which was signed on June 23, 1850, and is still in effect today.
VP-16 joins the Royal Brunei Armed Forces to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the establishment of their land, air and sea forces,” said Cmdr. Terrell Radford, VP-16 commanding officer. The War Eagles of VP-16 are honored to participate in this momentous event for the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and to provide a P-8A Poseidon aircraft static display for the people of Brunei. We look forward to building upon the outstanding relationship that already exists between our military forces, to include sharing our knowledge of maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations in an effort to ensure a continued free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Around the country, the festival is celebrated with military parades, artillery shows, parachuting displays and exhibitions by various units of the armed forces. In 1961, the RBAF forces began with an army of 60 soldiers. At present, the RBAF has three branches, the Royal Brunei Land, Navy, and Air Forces which consist of approximately 9,000 personnel. This year, the parade featured over 1,000 RBAF personnel. The celebration included a live demonstration and static display from various units of the RBAF, a series of presentation ceremonies, and an address by the Sultan on the state of Brunei’s defense as well as opportunities and challenges.
The VP-16 “War Eagles” are based in Jacksonville, Florida, and are currently forward deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japan. VP-16 is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet (C7F) area of operations conducting maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations in support of Commander, Task Force 72, C7F, and U.S. Pacific Command objectives throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region. The VP-16 mission is to provide maritime patrol services to the fleet in support of national interests. The War Eagles fly and maintain the state of the art P-8A Poseidon to accomplish this mission. U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.