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Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga said this follows the growing Golan Heights deployment at the request of the United Nations.
It also meant Fiji now had substantial Middle East deployments in the Sinai, Iraq and Golan Heights. This underscores the respect with which the professionalism of Fijian peacekeepers is held in such a volatile part of the world.
Colonel Tikoitoga said the RFMF was thankful to the Cabinet for approving two recruitment drives of 450 to enlist 900 reserves.
Thousands of young people applied at the recruitment centres set up at the Suva, Lautoka and Labasa camps last week.
“The last recruitment for the Territorial Force was seven years ago,” he said.
He said those on the current deployments included soldiers from the regular force and the territorial force.
When the 900 recruits pass -out, Colonel Tikoitoga said they would look into the ratio of Territorial Force and regular force in all peacekeeping duties.
“As from next year the ration will be 50:50,” he said.
Costly exercise He said the military would spend about $10,000 for each new recruit. This amount will be for uniforms, accommodation, food, travel, health and allowances.
All recruits will have to undergo a 12-week basic military training before enlistment to the force.
Criteria for selection The military had its own criteria for selecting new recruits, Colonel Tikoitoga said.
“There will be no favouritism. The interview panel will have the final say in the selection.”
Because of the large number turning up for recruitment, extra senior officers were called up to help in the interviews.
On whether those who had passed-out from the school cadet would be given preferences, Colonel Tikoitoga said school cadetship and military training were totally different.
The names of the 450 successful applicants in the first intake are expected to be published in the Fiji Sun.