THE Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga, has commended the first batch of troops who have successfully returned from the Golan Heights after a 12-month mission.
In a welcome parade at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks on Wednesday, he said they had set a milestone for themselves which was unprecedented for any UN deployment to deploy as far as they did with the big number of troops they took considering the volatile situation they went into.
"I say this with a lot of pride because when I went to New York the accolades for that rapid deployment and the fact that we saved the UN presence in Syria," Brig-Gen Tikoitoga said.
"If we had failed to do what we did, if the government did not allow troops to go at that time, we could have threatened the presence of the UN in the Golan Heights and Syria.
"And the fact that we were able to mobilise and train ourselves within three to four weeks where we were deployed in the month of June is much appreciated by the UN."
He said they were only able to do it because of the sacrifices made by the men and women who went on the mission.
Brig-Gen Tikoitoga said normal preparations for such missions took about three to six months however, this first batch prepared in four weeks only.
"The men and women made their sacrifices and left and I am glad to say we have the whole 511 back without any deaths — again which is something that always bothers the mind of any commander after successfully doing the job for 12 months," Brig-Gen Tikoitoga said.