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July 13, 2013
PM: Be firm
July 13, 2013 Recruitment to meet growing peacekeeping role By LOSALINI RASOQOSOQO
Victorians grand passing-out - Students of Queen Victoria School (QVS) yesterday held their annual cadet passing-out parade at Albert Park in Suva. Report on page 2. Photo: PAULINI RATULAILAI
More Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) troops will be deployed to the Golan Heights by the 22nd of this month, Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama confirmed yesterday.
Speaking to 207 new recruits during their passing out parade, Commodore Bainimarama said 318 RFMF troops and 10 staff officers were due to deploy.
He also announced that Cabinet has approved a Basic Recruit Course this year with the aim to add 450 personnel to the ranks of the RFMF, followed by another two recruitments of 450 personnel next year.
“This comes as a result of our commitment to the Golan Heights where we need personnel to supplement the Territorial Forces here at home and also personnel to conduct relieving duties to the regular soldiers away in Sinai, Iraq, and Syria,” he said.
The United Nations Golan Forces deployment between Syria and Israel is the latest of the RFMF’s international peacekeeping duties.
Commodore Bainimarama said some of the new recruits would be directed towards joining the regular forces as specialist soldiers, others would join the RFMF Engineering Corps while others would be recruited by the Naval Division.
“Let me, therefore, remind you that greatness in the RFMF is not measured in your years of service or the rank you attain, but you will be measured by the sacrifice one is willing to make for the good of our nation.”
Commodore Bainimarama also warned them not to be swayed by external influences as Fiji prepared itself for a new constitution and general elections in 2014.
“Be just, be firm and steadfast. In trying times that we are facing in our country, the RFMF plays a vital role in maintaining law and order in internal security situation,” he said.
“He told the troops to “remember you are now part of a service renowned all over the world for its gallantry – servicemen and women who have graced the battle fields of the past World Wars and peacekeeping operations in volatile areas of the world.
“Our soldiers are putting their lives on the line on the other side of the world. Not waging war but keeping the peace, ensuring the safety of others. I will not be surprised to see some of you here today being called up for peacekeeping duties in the not too distant future,” he said.
Also present at the passing out parade at the Force Training Group, Nasinu, was the Land Force Commander, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga and other senior military officers.