70-plus Fijian soldiers deployed for peacekeeping duties to Iraq

Boarding pass check by the Air Terminal Services at the Nadi International Airport. Picture: RFMF/Corporal Lote Rabuku.

More than 70 Republic of the Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) soldiers departed for peacekeeping duties to Iraq yesterday.

The soldiers will serve as the United Nations Guard Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission.

According to a post on the RFMF official social media Facebook page, the departing soldiers together with a detachment that left in August will form the 168 personnel of the 1st Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment Batt 23 and Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Netani Kaukimoce.

“These RFMF soldiers had completed six weeks of pre-deployment training conducted by the RFMF Directorate Peace Support Operations within the Lololo Training area outside Lautoka,” the RFMF stated.

“After spending a few days with their loved ones, the troops had to observe a requirement by the UN and the host country Iraq and enter into two weeks of strict pre-departure quarantine protocol before flying out.

“Our troops have been providing protective security detail for UN officials and infrastructure within Baghdad, Iraq since 2004.”

Members of the contingent departed yesterday evening on an Adagold Aviation aircraft chartered by the Australian Defence Force.

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