168 military officers undergo pre-deployment training

Female military personnel at their camp after the opening ceremony of the Pre Deployment Training for RFMF personnel selected for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq at Black Rock camp in Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

FIJI’S largest United Nations peacekeeping mission of 168 military officers marched into camp at Blackrock, Nadi, yesterday for a six-week pre-deployment training.

RFMF Peace Support Operations director Colonel Pacolo Luveni said the troops were earmarked for deployment to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

He said the deployment of troops in recent months had also been aided by international counterparts who had been instrumental in assisting RFMF soldiers.

“The Republic of Fiji Military Forces in involving Fiji’s Strategic Partners recognises the important role that they play in assisting Fiji with preparing Fijian troops for the arduous task of peacekeeping,” said Col Luveni.

“Australia, through the Australian Defence Force, assisted Fiji greatly with the provision of Strategic Lift aircraft that have transported our troops to Sinai and earlier this year His Excellency Mr Johnathan Curr the New Zealand High Commissioner officially opened the PDT (pre-deployment training) for troops selected for service with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force.

“This highlights the importance of peacekeeping to not only the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and the Government of Fiji but also to Fiji’s Global Defence partners.

“It also shows that peacekeeping is community based, not only at the tactical and operational level through the engagement of local populations but also at the strategic level through the assistance provided by the Global Peacekeeping Community.”

The soldiers are expected to complete their training in October.

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