RFMF troops head for Si­nai peace mis­sion

Fiji Sun - - FRONT PAGE - Mereleki Nai

170 men and women from the Repub­lic of Fiji Mil­i­tary Forces (RFMF) left for Si­nai yes­ter­day.

The Fi­jian bat­tal­ion re­place­ments, led by Com­man­der (Navy) Le­dua Yaco, are be­ing de­ployed to Si­nai un­der the Multi­na­tional Force and Ob­servers (MFO) mis­sion for 12 months.

The Fi­jian troops boarded an Aus­tralian Air Force air­craft from the Nadi In­ter­na­tional Air­port. Mean­while, 166 sol­diers who have served their 12-months in Si­nai are sched­uled to re­turn to the coun­try on Satur­day.

For the first time, a fe­male reg­i­ment den­tal of­fi­cer is part of the coun­try’s Multi­na­tional Force and Ob­servers (MFO) troops de­ployed to Si­nai for 12 months. Cap­tain Ana Bu­liasewa was among the 170 sol­diers, which in­cluded seven women, of the 39th Bat­tal­ion strength de­ploy­ment to Si­nai, that boarded the Aus­tralian Air Force air­craft yes­ter­day.

She said be­ing se­lected as the reg­i­ment den­tal of­fi­cer was sig­nif­i­cant for her be­cause the role was pre­vi­ously only given to men.

“I felt excited and I can’t wait to go and prove my­self. I am look­ing for­ward to this peacekeepi­ng duty. We de­parted three months ago, but were not al­lowed to con­tinue due to the pan­demic so we re­turned,” she said.

The Navala, Ba, na­tive had spent 18 years with the Min­istry of Health serv­ing in the North­ern Di­vi­sion. She is now based at the Si­ga­toka Hospi­tal.

“This post was ad­ver­tised by the Min­istry of Health in­ter­nally and it goes through a se­lec­tion process.,” she said.

“We have to go through the Fiji Emer­gency Med­i­cal Tech­ni­cal Ser­vice. I was se­lected with two other of­fi­cers within the Min­istry of Health,” she said.

The mother of two said she was grate­ful for her hus­band who would be tak­ing care of their chil­dren while she was away.

Mean­while, this is the fourth tour of duty for Sergeant Si­mon Sharma, 44. The Savusavu na­tive is look­ing for­ward to mak­ing his fam­ily and Fiji proud.

This Bat­tal­ion is led by Com­man­der Le­dua Yaco.

More than 166 sol­diers who have served their 12 months in Si­nai are sched­uled to re­turn this Satur­day.

Photo: Aus­tralian High Com­mis­sion

Photo:

Cap­tain Ana Bu­liasewa (front) is flanked by Staff Sergeant Kali­vati Uluibua, Peni Bula, Malakai Qase, and To­masi Vatan­itawake at the Nadi In­ter­na­tional Air­port on June 23, 2020.

Photo: Fiji Navy

Crew mem­bers of the RFNS Savenca on their way to res­cue Aus­tralian yacht Cloud Shadow.

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