LABUAN – The RM16 million Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Forward Operating Base (FOB) project in Lahad Datu is in the pipeline, seeking the ‘nod’ (final decision) from the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Ministry of Transport (MOT).
RMAF General Tan Sri Roslan Saad said the FOB which is for the helicopter detachment infrastructure is to maintain the security of Sabah’s airspace particularly within the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE).
“The operating base is for the air force personnel to act fast in the event of any untoward incident or any security-related issues in the area,” he said after the closing of RMAF Exercise PARADISE 3/16 at the Labuan RMAF Base here.
He said the RMAF has allocated an additional fund of RM7 million, in addition to the earl projection of RM9 million.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the helicopter detachment infrastructure project was performed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak in May this year.
The Cabinet in August last year, gave the green light for the Defence Ministry to implement the project with an initial cost of RM9 million and is geared towards protecting Sabah’s airspace.
The helicopter detachment infrastructure will be built at the Lahad Datu airport and with this, the RMAF would be able to improve and increase their preparedness and security at the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) area.
The FOB would function as a transit centre and air support for various helicopters operated by the Malaysian Armed Forces that commute between Esscom and Lahad Datu airport.