Leadership: Get By With A Lot Of Help From Your Friends


January 30, 2010: Brunei has hired an American firm to install a JOC (Joint Operations Center) for the armed forces and national government. Such a system integrates Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance systems at a main headquarters, and for a smaller mobile headquarters as well. This would link Brunei with similar systems used by NATO and ASEAN (a Southeast Asian version of NATO) nations. Bruneis armed forces are tiny, about 3,000 troops and civilians. They are well armed, and with the JOC, they will be better able to call in help.

The American supplier of the JOC, Northrop Grumman, has installed similar systems in 40 countries. When it is operational in a year or so, the JOC will enable Brunei commanders to quickly communicate with ally Singapore, and the U.S. fleet that operates in the area. JOC will enable the Brunei commanders to quickly receive American UAV, aircraft and satellite images, and transmit locally obtained data to allies. JOC will enable the Brunei leadership to keep in touch, no matter what.

The Sultan of Brunei, who is the wealthiest man in the world (because of lots of oil, and only 389,000 people in his kingdom to share it with), rules an oil rich (over $14 billion a year GDP, creating $37,000 per capita income) chunk of Borneo island. The rest of the island belongs to Indonesia (mostly) and Malaysia. Britain has long stationed an infantry battalion in Brunei, to discourage Indonesian or Malaysian expansion. At one point, Brunei belonged to the Malaysian federation, but opted out and developed closer ties with Britain and Singapore (which also once was part of Malaysia).


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