Yesterday, we got an opportunity to speak to the newly installed BDF Commander, Brigadier General David Jones. He's been the leader of the nation's military force for exactly one month, but he's got decades of experience in the BDF along with a wealth of international military leadership training. He discussed the military's needs and the road ahead:
General David Jones
"Today has mark exactly a month. I took over on the 28th, and what I have been doing so far is making checks to see what sources the BDF have and what we need and looking at the structure of what we have and then revising what structure we need because with the current threats that we have we don't believe we are structured the right way, so we are going to revised the structure and then looking at increasing the size of the force or doing a re-structuring to meet threats that we are now facing. With the budget exercise we went through it seems they are not going to be really unkind to us this year. I think we may get a little increase; there is always a need for more equipment. As you know the government is not in the financial situation that we would like. We need to make the best the budget that we get and make the best of the resources that we have."
"Are the BDF soldiers over extended because they have to act as military police force as well as jungle officers?"
General David Jones
"I would prefer that they are working at high operation tempo than expected. Apart from the duties from along the border, we have to assist the police as well. It is a situation that has been decided by the government and it is something that we signed up to do. Our primary purpose is for the defence of the country making sure that our national territorial integrity and sovereignty is intact and we spend most of that job doing it along the border. However the country is now in a situation where crime is probably the main national concern within the country and it is good decision to decide to have the BDF to assist. It is not what the soldier has signed up for but it is something that we need to chip in and assist because it's for the national interest of the country."
Jones is a 22 year veteran of the BDF.